Stephanie stretched and yawned then turned her head to look at the man lying next to her still asleep. He’d made love to her late into the night then sang to her as she drifted off to sleep. Today they would be going home, back to the real world and their family.
While she loved her family, and had missed them, she had enjoyed this time with just Eric away from the reality of what was going on in their lives. She smiled as she thought of how much time they’d spent in bed. Taking a deep breath, inhaling the fresh ocean air, she reached out and softly drew her finger over Eric’s shoulder.
“Do you know how much I love you?” she whispered as she settled against him.
“I believe you just showed me,” he answered, his eyes darkening with the memories of their love making.
She blushed. “Eric.”
Caressing her long blonde hair over her shoulder, Eric smiled. “You’re beautiful, Stephanie. This last hour,” he shook his head. “Amazing.”
“That’s how you made me feel.”
“Because you are.” His hand caressed her shoulder. “I guess we should get up and get dressed. I’m surprised the phone hasn’t rang.”
Stephanie laughed. “I’m surprised someone hasn’t come knocking on the door.”
“Maybe they started to and heard us,” he suggested then chuckled when she blushed.
“Oh god, I hope not,” she groaned as she buried her face in the crook of his neck.
Eric rubbed Stephanie’s back. “Don’t you think they’re used to hearing us doing this in here by now?”
“I suppose they are.” She smiled up at him. “We do have a tendency to get a bit carried away when we’re left alone in here for very long.”
Eric chuckled. “Just a bit?”
“Well,” she murmured and blushed.
Suddenly filled with a need to have her again, Eric pulled her on top of him, smiling up into her startled face as she stared down at him. “I want you,” he whispered.
“Again?” she asked, her voice low, her body beginning to move against him.
“Again,” he answered, his hand moving up to cup her breast.
Closing her eyes, Stephanie let her head fall back with a sigh. She loved their time together, no matter where they were, but making love in his office always seemed to turn her on even more. She opened her eyes, looking down at him with a moan as he slid inside her. It always seemed to turn him on even more, too.
“What are you thinking about, Sweetheart?” Eric whispered as he reached out to trace the lines of her face, bringing Stephanie from her thoughts.
“Good morning, Honey,” she greeted as she leaned over to kiss him.
“Mmm,” he hummed into the kiss, his fingers tangling in her hair. Pulling back, he smiled and raised an eyebrow. “That was some kiss. Was that what you were thinking about?”
Stephanie laughed. “Well, sort of.”
“I was remembering one of the times we made love in your office.”
Eric pulled her closer and traced her lips. “Oh? Which time would that be?”
“The day you gave me the emerald earrings.”
“Ah,” he sighed. “I remember that well.” Smiling, he pressed a kiss to her lips. “I remember all of our times together in that office down through the years. You were always so amazing.”
“I remember all of our times together,” she breathed, moving her body against his.
“So do I, Sweetheart. From our very first time, to the last time we made love last night.”
“And soon we’ll add this morning to the memories.”
Eric smiled as he caressed a hand over her hip. “I’ve loved every minute we spent making love this week. Just seeing you let go and be free and completely open with me,” he shook his head, his voice catching.
Caressing his face, Stephanie returned his smile. “You loving me wholly and completely gave me a reason to be free and open.”
Eric pressed his body tighter against hers, his hand tracing her curves before resting on her hip. “I want you, Sweet girl,” he whispered.
Caressing his cheek, Stephanie stared into his dark eyes. “I’m yours, Eric. Take me,” she told him, her voice low and sultry.
Positioning her leg over his, he gently thrust forward, moaning as he slid inside her. “This is a wonderful way to start the day.”
Tangling her fingers in his hair, Stephanie rested her forehead against Eric’s and moaned, “Ooh, yes. Wonderful.”
Eric pressed a kiss to Stephanie’s head. “This is something I want to continue when we get home.”
“What?” she asked as she tilted her head back to look at him.
“Taking baths and showers together.”
Stephanie laughed. “Honey, if we do that, we’ll never get ready on time.”
“Well,” he chuckled. “I know we can’t do like we have been here, but at night we can take a long soak before bed.” Tracing a soapy finger down her shoulder, he felt her shiver against him. “I don’t want to lose this, Stephanie, just because we’re home.”
“I don’t want to lose it, either. I’ve enjoyed these long soaks as much as you have. Just spending time in your arms, talking quietly about anything or nothing at all, has been wonderful.” Nuzzling his neck, she sighed. “I’m going to need this in the next weeks, Eric.”
“Then it’s settled.” He smiled and wrapped his arms tightly around her. “This becomes part of our nightly routine before bed.”
She smiled. “Or after bed,” she whispered and winked.
Eric shivered at the implication. “Or after,” he breathed and nodded his head.
Pressing kisses to his neck, she moaned when his hands cupped her breasts, his fingers gently tweaking their taut nipples. “Ooh,” she whimpered. “We, ooh, we can’t do this,” she managed to remind him.
Groaning his frustration, Eric let his head fall back, his hands stilling their actions. “We won’t be on deck for the trip home,” he told her.
Stephanie chuckled. “Well it won’t be the first time we’ve made love on a yacht.”
Eric smiled as he lifted his head and looked down at her. “No, it most certainly won’t be.”
“Although this time I can say with certainty that I won’t be getting pregnant.”
Throwing his head back, he laughed and held her tighter. “I love you, Stephanie Forrester.”
Smiling at him and giving in to her own laughter, she squeezed his hands. “I love you, too, Eric Forrester.”
Eric sighed then kissed her before nudging her. “I suppose we should get out of here. We still have to pack and get things ready to leave. Besides,” he paused, his eyes twinkling. “You’re turning into a prune.”
“Hey!” she laughed as she gently elbowed him. “As if you aren’t.”
“So I am.” He kissed her nose. “But you’re a better looking prune than I am. Those blue eyes of yours,” he sighed.
Moving to let him stand up, Stephanie watched the bubbles run down his body. “You’re right,” she murmured as she stood and took his outstretched hand when he turned back to her.
“I am?” he asked as he wrapped her in the large fluffy towel he’d pulled from the rack. “About what?”
“We won’t be on deck for the trip home.”
“Eric!” Stephanie cried out his name, not caring if any of the crew could hear her. Her fingernails dug into his skin as he moved against her, his mouth busy nipping at her neck.
Eric felt her body writhing beneath him, her inner muscles clutching at him, and gritted his teeth to keep hold of his control. “Steph,” he moaned her name when her nails drew paths down his back, something that only turned him on further.
Urging him to go faster with a murmur in his ear, Stephanie arched up into him, her orgasm overtaking her, sending her careening over the cliff into oblivion as she cried out his name once more. “Eric!” The cry reverberated around the cabin, echoing in his ears.
Eric felt her climax and gave in to his own, letting go of his control as he went over the edge with her. “Stephanie,” he breathed as he collapsed against her, his face in her neck.
Stephanie lifted a hand, tangling her fingers in his damp hair. “I think,” she paused to take a deep breath. “I think maybe the crew heard us.”
Eric chuckled even as he gulped air to get his thudding heart under control. “Maybe, Sweet girl, but I don’t give a damn. They know we’re newlyweds. What else do they expect?”
Stephanie chuckled this time. “Honey, we’re hardly young kids, and we have just spent a week alone on a secluded island.”
He shrugged as he moved to her side, his head continuing to rest on her breast. “Don’t care. I love you. So what if they heard how much.”
Smiling, she tugged as his hair to get him to look up at her. “I don’t care, myself. Which is surprising. I should be embarrassed to have been so vocal with others around.”
Eric grinned at her. “I like when you’re vocal.”
“I know you do.” She grinned back then sighed.
“What is it?” he asked as he caressed a damp tendril of hair from her forehead.
“How close do you think we are to being back?”
“I don’t know. I told the captain to call us when we’re twenty minutes out.”
“So I guess we don’t need to hurry since he hasn’t called.”
Eric nodded. “That’s right,” he told her as he laid his head back against her, taking her hand in his. “Do you think the kids will still have the party tonight?”
She sighed, “Yes, I do. I think they’ll have invited more than family this time, too.”
Eric snarled. “I was afraid of that.”
“We’ll have time to unpack and rest a bit before we have to get ready, I’m sure.”
“Rest?” he asked as he leaned up to look at her.
Stephanie laughed and drew a finger over his brow. “Well, our version of rest, anyway.”
He laughed. “That’s more like it. Although you’ll have to be much quieter.”
She snarled and slapped his arm. “Eric.”
“What?” he laughed as he gently pinched her. “You know as well as I do that our children will be there when we get home, and that there will be people there setting up for the party.”
“Hey!” she grabbed his hand when he went to pinch her again. “I know.” She bit her lip in concentration.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, knowing that look on her face.
“Well, I was just thinking…”
“Well, if we take a shower together,” she smiled at him. “I won’t have to be quiet.”
Shaking his head and laughing, he leaned over and kissed her, his hand wrapping around her hip. “God I love you,” he whispered as he pulled back, staring into eyes that were sparkling with mirth and lingering passion. “You know, you said earlier that we aren’t teenagers, but we’ve been as insatiable as teenagers these last few days.”
She caressed his face. “Yes,” she chuckled. “I suppose we have.” She looked away, growing serious. “We have a lot to make up for and time to store up for.”
“Sweetheart, shh.” Eric turned her face back to him, caressing a tear from her cheek. “None of those thoughts.”
Sniffing, she nuzzled her face into his hand. “I can’t help it. They just seem to sneak up on me.”
“And I’m here to chase them away, right where I’m supposed to be.”
Kissing the palm of his hand, Stephanie reached up and covered it with her own. “Just keep reminding me.”
Smiling and pressing a soft kiss against her lips, he nodded. “You bet.”
“Oh my god!” Felicia exclaimed as she looked up and caught sight of her mother on the stairs.
Stephanie looked at Eric then at their baby. “What’s wrong, Baby?”
“Whoa!” Thorne whistled, stopping in his tracks.
Eric grinned at his wife when she looked back at him again. “What is wrong? Did I forget a piece of clothing? Put something on backward?”
“My god, Mother!” Kristen stared at her mother with wide eyes.
“Alright! What is the matter with all of you?” Stephanie asked as she stepped off the last step into the foyer.
“Grandma! You’re beautiful!” Aly smiled as she rushed to her beloved grandmother and wrapped her arms around her. “I’ve missed you!”
“I’ve missed you, too, Aly.” Stephanie hugged her granddaughter close, pressing a kiss to her head. “You look gorgeous. Grandpa’s?”
“You have to ask?” Aly laughed when Stephanie shook her head.
“No, not really.”
“I see you’re wearing one of Grandpa’s too, only it’s different.” Aly commented as she studied the stitching and beading.
Eric shook his head. “Her eye is as good as her grandmother’s.” He smiled and pressed a kiss to Aly’s forehead. “Yes, it’s different. I made it.”
“We know it’s yours, Dad.” Felicia told him as she moved to study what her niece was looking at. “She’s right, it is different.”
Eric shook his head. “And where does she get the denseness from?” he asked Stephanie as he looked down at her.
“My mother?” Stephanie asked making Eric chuckle.
“Must be,” he murmured as he kissed her nose. “Felicia, I didn’t say, I designed it. I said, I made it. There’s a difference, you know.”
Thorne looked at his father then moved to study the stitches. “My god, you did, and on your old machine.” He smiled at his mother. “Wow, Mom.”
Stephanie smiled and moved to hug her son. “That’s what I thought. He’s spoiling me. He hasn’t pulled that machine out in years. I didn’t even know he still had it.”
“Finally getting it right, Dad.” Felicia smiled at her father. “This is gorgeous and makes Mom look stunning.” She looked up at her mother. “Makes her eyes sparkle like these crystals.”
“Did you do the beading by hand, too, Grandpa?” Aly asked.
Eric nodded. “I did. Lots of time spent with my glasses and a magnifying glass.”
“Oh Honey.” Stephanie whispered. “What I want to know is…why wasn’t this what I wore for our wedding?”
“Because it’s too much for a simple wedding on the deck of a yacht.”
“True. So, what did you have in mind for this when you started it?”
“This,” he held out his hand toward the party getting started around them. “I knew that there would be a party for us once we got married.”
“Smart,” she whispered and patted his cheek. “Now, where are the others?”
“Well, Steffy said she was running a bit behind. Thomas is on his way. He went by to pick up Aunt Pam. We didn’t want her driving this late.” Felicia answered.
Stephanie chuckled. “Thanks, Baby.”
“And who else have you invited?”
“Well, they invited us.” Taylor called from the doorway, Whip close behind.
“Wow!” he commented as he saw Stephanie.
“That seems to be the consensus tonight.” Stephanie sighed as she hugged Taylor. “Hello, Honey.”
“Hello, Stephanie.” Taylor kissed her friend’s cheek then looked her over. “He’s right. You’re stunning. I take it Eric’s been busy making you a new wardrobe.”
“Very busy.” Stephanie told her.
Taylor’s eyes twinkled as she leaned forward and whispered in Stephanie’s ear, “That tone tells me it’s more than what we’re seeing.”
“Taylor.” Stephanie admonished, her cheeks blushing in spite of her best efforts to control it.
Taylor chuckled and gave Stephanie another hug. “I’m so happy for you.”
“Thank you, Taylor.”
“Eric, you’d better not let her out of your sight tonight.” Whip told the older man as he leaned over to kiss Stephanie’s cheek. “You look amazing.”
Stephanie smiled and patted his cheek. “Thank you, Whip.”
Eric winked at Stephanie when she looked up at him. “I fully intend to keep her right by my side all night long, Whip.”
“He’s a bit greedy.” Stephanie whispered then laughed when Eric growled and nipped at her neck. “Eric,” she whispered.
“Daddy! Not in front of witnesses!” Felicia scolded then hugged her parents. “I’m so happy to see you so in love with each other.”
Kissing the side of her head, Stephanie patted Felicia’s back. “Not half as happy as we are, Baby.”
“Now,” Eric started as he looked around. “when are we going to start this party?”
“The rest of the guests are starting to arrive, Grandpa.” Thomas spoke up from the doorway as he followed Pam through. “We pulled into the drive just in front of a long line of cars.”
“A long line.” Pam echoed as she moved to hug her sister. “Oh Steph! You look beautiful!”
“Thank you, Pammie.”
“A long line?” Eric asked, glaring at his daughter. “I thought this was supposed to be small.”
“Well,” she started then looked at her brother.
“I told you.” Thorne held up his hands. “I had nothing to do with it.”
“Thanks, brother. Thanks a lot.” Felicia growled.
“Enough. It is what it is. As long as we have family and none of the other guests are media, we’re fine.” Stephanie broke up the fight.
“Well, there are a few media types, but they’re your friends. I couldn’t not invite them.” Felicia defended herself.
“As long as they were told they’re here as friends only.”
“They didn’t even ask to be anything else.”
“Good.” Eric took Stephanie’s hand. “Come on, Sweet girl. I’m thirsty.”
“So am I,” she agreed and followed him into the living room.
“Wow.” Steffy whispered as she came through the door a couple of minutes later. “You’ve really gone all out.”
“Why not?” Felicia asked with a smile.
“No reason.” Steffy told her as she hugged her mother then Whip. “Where’s Grandma and Granddad?”
“In there.” Taylor told her as she pointed toward the couple just as Stephanie turned around.
“Whoa. That’s some outfit.” Steffy whispered as she took in her grandmother’s silvery blue satin pants and top. “Is that beading on the jacket?”
“It is.” Thorne answered. “Go on. Go see for yourself. Your grandpa made the whole outfit.”
“Made it?” Steffy asked with wide eyes.
“Made it.” Felicia confirmed with a nod.
“How long has it been since he’s made anything himself?” Taylor wondered.
“Years. The last time was for Mother too.”
Everyone turned at the sound of the voice, amazed to see him standing there.
“Ridge?” Kristen asked as Tony and Zende came in behind her.
“It’s me.” Ridge answered as he looked past them to where his parents stood talking to his daughter. “I knew Dad had been working on something before, but I didn’t realize it was something he was making. I just thought he was designing it.”
“From the way they were talking earlier, I think Dad made all of Mom’s clothes for their wedding and honeymoon.”
“That would explain why he was behind on his designs.” Ridge studied his parents. “She looks like she’s feeling good.”
“Dad said she didn’t have any coughing spells while they were gone. He thinks the ocean air was good for her.”
Ridge looked at his brother. “Maybe it was, but maybe it was just being alone with Dad.”
“Maybe.” Thorne whispered as the brothers walked in to talk with their parents while the girls started greeting guests.
Eric watched Stephanie, his ears picking up her cough even though she tried to cover it up. He hadn’t let her out of his sight, but he had let her wander away from his side to visit with some of the ladies. Deciding that her coughing was only going to get worse, he started to make his way to her when he heard her excuse herself. Sighing, he sat down his champagne glass and followed her.
“Daddy?” Felicia caught him.
“It’s alright. She’ll be fine. Just let me go to her.”
Felicia nodded. “We can end the party if we need to.”
“I’ll let you know, Baby. Now go on. Take care of your guests.” He patted her hand and kissed her forehead then turned and went down the hall, finding Stephanie sitting and coughing just outside the back door. “Sweetheart,” he whispered as he knelt down in front of her. “Here,” he held out a glass of water for her. “Easy.”
Stephanie sipped the water, her hands shaking beneath Eric’s as he helped her hold the glass steady. Finished with the water, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes. “Why now?”
“I don’t know, Sweetheart. Maybe it’s all the people and the different perfumes and colognes.” Eric sat down beside her, pulling her against him. “Are you okay? Or do you want to end the party? Felicia said we could if need be.”
Stephanie shook her head. “No. They worked so hard. I’m okay now. Just don’t let me wander off again.” She smiled at him. “I’m going to need to hold onto you.”
“Are you really sure? They’ll all understand, Steph.” Eric caressed her face.
“I know. And I’m sure. As long as I have you to hold onto, I’ll be okay.”
“Alright, but we’re staying close to the balcony. Maybe if we keep you near the fresh air it will help.”
She nodded and took his hand when he stood up. Leaning against him, she sighed, “The party’s been wonderful so far, hasn’t it?”
“It has. All the men keep telling me how lucky I am. They can’t keep their eyes off you.” He winked when she frowned up at him. “What? It’s the truth. Even your sons keep staring.”
A smile turned up her lips. “I’m so glad Ridge came. I didn’t think he would.”
“I didn’t think he would, either, but I’m happy that he did.” Eric kissed her head. “Ready to go back?”
Stephanie nodded and followed him down the hall, the sounds of the party growing close. “Have I told you how much I love you?”
“Not in the last few minutes, but you’ve been a bit busy.”
Looking up at him, just as they entered the living room, she smiled and patted his cheek. “I love you, Mr. Forrester.”
Eric smiled then laughed when the sound of tinkling glass reached his ears. “I do believe they expect a kiss.”
“Well then we’d better give it to them before they break the glasses.” Stephanie countered, a small chuckle slipping from her lips.
Kristen cheered with the rest of the gathered crowd as she watched her parents kiss, knowing that her mother was weak from her coughing spell by the way she was holding onto Eric’s arm. “She’s putting on a front for all of us so she doesn’t ruin the party.”
Tony studied his mother-in-law. “Let her have it, Kris. Your dad won’t let her over exert herself. I’m sure they discussed this before coming back in. She looks like she’s alright, just a little weak.” He wrapped an arm around his wife. “He won’t let her go.”
“No, he won’t,” she whispered. “I’ve never seen them so in love, Tony.”
“Never? They seemed pretty in love when I met them.”
“They were, but not like this. It’s different this time.”
“Because he’s facing a future that might not have her in it.”
Kristen looked up at her husband, tears pooling in her eyes. “I know how he feels,” she whispered as she reached up to caress his face.
“Shh, Kris.” Tony soothed her, knowing just how close her feelings were to her father’s, wishing there was a way to keep her from thinking them, and knowing that there wasn’t.
Stephanie leaned back against Eric as they stood on the balcony, listening to the sounds of the quiet night around them. Inhaling, she sighed and patted his hand. “The party was lovely. Our daughters did a wonderful job.”
“Yes, they did. They learned from their mother – the best party giver in LA.”
“Well,” she laughed. “I wouldn’t go that far.”
Nuzzling her neck before pressing a kiss to her temple, Eric smiled. “I would.”
She shrugged. “I loved showing you off.”
“Just as much as I loved showing you off.” Swaying them slightly, Eric cuddled her close. “How are you feeling?”
“Mmm,” she hummed. “Absolutely wonderful right now.”
“Yes, you do,” he whispered against her ear before nipping at the lobe. “We have a photo shoot tomorrow.”
She nodded. “I know. What am I going to wear?”
“A few of the outfits from our honeymoon.”
“But they need to be cleaned.”
“I know. That’s why I sent them out while you were napping before the party.”
Reaching back, she patted his cheek. “Smart.”
“You bet,” he agreed. “They’ll be here in the morning. The photo shoot isn’t until one. Plenty of time to decide which ones.”
“I bet you already know which ones you want me to wear.”
He chuckled and nodded. “I do. Not your wedding outfit; they already have pictures of you in that.”
“And not any of the intimate apparel.”
“Most definitely not,” he growled and nipped her neck making her giggle softly. Eric squeezed her. “I love to hear you giggle.”
“I don’t giggle,” she denied even as a smile spread across her lips.
“You do,” he argued. “It turns me on.”
She shook her head then tilted it up to look at him. “What doesn’t turn you on?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Hmm,” he hummed as he pondered her question. “Seeing you hurt or sick. Those things only make me sad.”
Stephanie turned in his arms, wrapping her arms around him. “I love you, Eric.”
Tracing the line of her brow then down her nose, Eric smiled at her. “I love you, too, Stephanie.”
Yawning, she leaned against him. “I think I need to go to bed.”
“I think you’re right, Sweet girl.” Pressing a kiss to her forehead, he moved back then took her hand. “Want a soak before bed, or just bed?”
Stifling another yawn, she blinked sleepy eyes up at him. “Just bed with you holding me.”
“That’s a given.”
“And one of your shirts.”
He chuckled, “That’s just about a given, too.”