DISCLAIMER: ER is the property of Constant C Productions, Amblin Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Part VII: Eastern Light
This is our last first time.
After tonight there will only be 'next times'.
I find the depth and breadth of this idea equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. To have someone know me, sometimes better than I know myself, brings an excitement that resonates in the simplest of ways.
These are the ways.
She walks outside and I follow in her footsteps. There is a slight breeze coming in from the bay and it carries her scent to me. This is a heady feeling, this mixture of arousal and belonging and love, and the knowledge that I recognize this woman above all others stops me in my tracks. The earth expands beneath my feet and I feel myself stretch beyond the boundaries of atmosphere and gravity. And all the while her inexorable pull tugs at my heart, my blood, my breath, keeping me tethered to this place. This place beside her.
She does not turn to find out why I have stopped. She leans against the car and stares up at the moon, incandescent on this perfect evening. But I have always thought her so.
She waits patiently while my world dissolves and re-forms in her image. There are no words to tell her what I feel.
I am walking toward her again. Her hand brushes my sleeve as I open the car door and I stare at my coat and wonder if I will ever regain the use of my arm. It tingles and throbs in perfect counterpoint to the rushing in my veins.
I am driving us home. I do not take my eyes from the road because I know what will happen if I look at her.
I park the car and rest my hands on the wheel, unable to move. The engine pings, then quiets, and I hear my shallow breaths. My door slowly swings open and she leans in and looks at me until I am compelled to turn toward her. Her mouth moves but no sound comes out. It takes several seconds for me to realize that she is speaking but I can't hear her.
"Kim, come on, let's go inside."
I nod and let her pull me up and into her arms. I am shaking and she takes the keys from my hand and locks the car, then leads me to my door and ushers me inside.
When I finally become aware of my surroundings, I am curled up on the couch, lying in her arms. She rubs a hand in slow circles across my back while the other cradles my head. We sit like this for over an hour, saying nothing, just holding each other.
At long last I raise my head and offer a tremulous grin. She tenderly brushes the hair from my forehead as I stare into the vast landscape of her eyes.
"I never knew it could be like this."
I am awestruck at the realization that she is with me in all this, not just beside me. Almost as if we're occupying the same space. When I answer, it is barely above a whisper.
"I knew at the restaurant. And I couldn't look at you. I knew if I looked at you this would vanish and never come back."
She takes my chin in her hand and holds me still, making sure I hear every deliberate word.
"No matter what happens, I will always return to you. I will always come home to you."
I blink furiously but she is not finished.
"Kim I'm making you the love of my life. I will never give you reason to doubt me again. I will never leave you."
I can't hear anymore. Too much, more than I ever dreamt possible, an avalanche overwhelming my heart. I whimper and she lets go of my face and pulls me to her once more.
And this is how it begins.
I leave the warmth of her embrace and rise to my feet. I hold out my hand and she does not hesitate to take it. I face her, walking backwards, never breaking contact with her eyes as I lead her to our bed.
The sheets are tangled, pillows askew. She stands before me, waiting, watching me as I raise our joined hands to my face. I fervently press her palm to my lips, an echo of our past, and she smiles in recognition.
And this is how it begins.
My hands fall to my sides as she moves to stand closer to me. I feel the heat emanating from her body as she reaches up to the collar of her shirt. She slowly undoes the first button, waiting for my permission to continue. I lean down and kiss the salty sweetness of her collarbone. Another button, another benediction in turn, until there is only the wet of my mouth on her skin. She moves to slip the shirt from her shoulders but I shake my head, reaching inside to run the back of my hand over her satin-covered breasts.
I hold her hands against her sides and she understands what I want. I pull her belt from its buckle, undo the top button of her jeans, pull down the zipper. She is tense and quivering and I pull her into me. I lower my head and press my lips to hers and she will never deny me, immediately opening her mouth, granting me entrance, and my tongue plunders and demands.
Her moan is almost my undoing and I press on, thrusting my tongue into her mouth, desperate now, needing all of her, everything, now. She can barely catch her breath as I kiss hungry trails across her jaw, licking the sweat from her throat. She tilts her hips forward, an invitation, a promise, and I feel her pushing against me, directing me back onto the bed.
I am sprawled across the mattress; she is sprawled across me. I wrap my arms around her and roll us over until my weight is fully resting on her. I reach down and tug at her jeans, easing them over her hips and then no further. I hold myself up with one arm and she helps me pull my shirt over my head, followed by my bra. Eager hands undo my pants and I sit up and we pull them off together. Panties, socks, fall to the floor. I resume my previous position, stretched across her, arms planted on either side of her head. I rock myself against her in a slow fucking motion, enjoying the rough scrape of her jeans against my thighs and stomach.
She is trying to remove her clothes but I allow no separation between us. This is my gift to her: to have me naked before her, to trust her with my body, my soul, my heart.
Once again I balance on one arm, running my fingers between the valley of her breasts, then back across her shoulder, down her arm. I take her hand and bring it to my mouth, grasping her index and middle fingers between my teeth, drawing them in. She shivers.
I let her remove her fingers, certain now that she understands, that she accepts this gift. She traces them down my chest, my stomach, unwavering in her descent, until she reaches the swollen juncture of my thighs. She gently cups her hand between my legs, resting there, and for the first time this night, I hesitate.
I place my weight on my knees, freeing my hands to grip her shoulders and pull her to me. I need to see her eyes, need to know what she's thinking, need to keep her close to me while we create this together.
She leans in to kiss me, gently grasping my bottom lip between her teeth, running her tongue along the edge. She releases my mouth and pulls back.
"I need you, Kim."
And only then does she enter, three fingers deep inside me, sliding easily in the wetness she has created. I raise myself slightly to allow her greater access and she adds another, pushing slowly, carefully. She reaches her free hand behind me, resting it against my back, steadying me as I rise and fall to the rhythm she sets with her fingers. She presses me forward, tonguing lazy circles around my breasts, narrowing her focus until she sucks a nipple into her mouth, never losing the tempo of her steady thrust and withdrawal.
I am undone. I feel Kerry inside me, before me, surrounding me with her love, taking everything I want to give her and returning it to me. I have never been kissed, never been held, never known what love is, waiting all this time for her to show me. Waiting for her to join me.
We are moving closer to the place that we always go, easily, familiar and deep. This is the constant between us, this utter physical connection, and I never fail to surrender. I feel it gathering and I open myself to her completely, letting every touch and sensation wash through me, forever in my want of her. I rest my forehead against her shoulder, shutting my eyes as she increases the pace, turning and twisting inside me. I want to fight this, to make it last just a little longer, but a heart-stopping jolt signals the completion of something started long ago, long before this night.
I rear back but she stays with me, clutching my waist, softly whispering "I love you" over and over. I never want to leave this moment; I want to live the rest of my life looking into her soul, feeling her inside me, tasting her name on my lips. I clench around her fingers in uncontrollable spasms and she continues her movements, unhurried and intent, studying my face, letting my expression direct her progress. I am crying and more turned on than I've ever been in my life. Every place she touches me is wet. She kisses my tear-stained cheeks, rubs against my sweated skin, strokes the evidence of my lust for her.
My arms encircle her as I drift down from my release. She does not remove her hand when I push against her and lower us to the sheets. I rest on top of her, alternately kissing under her chin and calming my ragged breathing. Her chest is heaving and I raise my head, gauging her arousal. Her eyes are near black and she licks her lips, dry from panting. She is close, so very close.
I reach between us and withdraw her hand from me, carefully lifting off of her and resting my thigh between her legs. I press upward, rubbing the seam of her jeans into her centre. I take her hand and carefully lick the wetness from each finger, suckling and soothing the heated flesh. She draws her knees up and presses her heels into the mattress to push herself against me. When I lean down to share the taste I have gathered from her fingers, she moans into my mouth and clutches my hips, moving harder against me. She abruptly stills and her nails dig into me, the pressure increasing with each passing second until she suddenly relaxes. I keep my leg in place and lower myself on top of her, feeling her hips jerk convulsively. We stay this way for a long time, saying nothing. She shifts slightly and groans and I immediately move to roll off of her.
"Am I hurting you?"
"No, no, please come back. I love the weight of you on top of me."
"I'm not so sure it's good for your hip, Ker, how about I snuggle you instead?"
I burrow an arm underneath her back and drape a leg over her thighs, nestling my face against her neck. She sighs in contentment and closes her eyes. Minutes pass and I'm sure she's fallen asleep when she suddenly pats my leg.
"I should get undressed."
I disengage myself from her, help her peel off her clothes, then immediately we return to our entanglement.
"This is good, Ker."
"This has always been good, Kim."
I pause, unsure what she's telling me. She feels my hesitation and runs a soothing hand down my arm.
"I meant every word I said, it wasn't just the heat of the moment. Hell, technically it was before the heat of the moment."
I chuckle and relax, drawing myself in even closer.
"I know it will take time for you to trust me again, I understand that. And while I'm here we're going to be doing a lot of talking. I'm still a a work in progress and I can't quit now, just when I'm on the verge of understanding so much about myself."
I smile but something she said strikes a chord.
"Don't you want to know the question first?"
She doesn't bother to reply, just squeezes me and plants soft kisses on the top of my head.
"I can't go back to Chicago."
She starts to speak but I plunge ahead.
"I really love it here, I mean everything about being here. I love the city, I love the climate, I love my work. I just "
I trail off, knowing I have raised the issue that will be our biggest stumbling block. She sighs and contemplatively rubs my shoulder. I hear the wheels turning and brace myself.
I tense, thinking quickly, marshalling my arguments.
"My contract with County is up in six months."
She casually lobs this in my lap then waits for my reaction. I am struck mute. Literally. Her hand still traces a pattern on my shoulder but she seems in no hurry to move the conversation forward.
I can't stand it, I have to look at her. I rouse myself from her arms, sit up and lean back against the headboard. She pulls herself up next to me, carefully studying my face. Is she saying what I think she's saying?
"I certainly don't want to make any hasty decisions but I knew going in that you wouldn't want to leave San Francisco. And I can't blame you. It's a great city and I've always enjoyed the time I've been able to spend here."
"I don't mean this to sound hurtful but I can't believe you're saying this."
She tips her head back and laughs.
"You have one month."
"One month to convince me that moving here would be a great idea. And I have one month to show you that I'm not the same person you fell in love with a year ago. If we can sell each other on those two points, we might be on to something good here, Legaspi."
"Wait a second, you would leave County, leave Chicago-"
She raises a hand to forestall further conversation.
"Kim, I still haven't quite figured out what the hell has happened to me in the last twelve months. My life has literally been turned inside out, pardon the pun. And it may be that I'll never be as relaxed about all this as you'd like. We'll see I guess. But I'm absolutely sure of one thing."
She pauses and I squirm in anticipation.
"Have you ever read Twain's short stories?"
Now she's lost me. Anyone at County who thinks they know what Kerry's all about hasn't got the first clue. Just when you think you can safely predict what's going to come out of her mouth
" 'Wheresoever she was, THERE was Eden.' "
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