Chapter 20: Truths

She felt light as a feather. Floating. Hanging in mid air. She had never felt so complete in her life.

The whorl back down to reality was dizzying. She could hear someone screaming with ecstasy, and realized it was herself. Another voice joined hers, a deeper one. One that she had longed for so much, so hard, that she almost couldn't believe that she was really hearing it. Could those really be his hands on her? Really be his lips on hers? She opened her eyes, but the teardrops clouded her vision, and she had to wait for them to seep down the side of her cheek before she could focus on the face of her beloved.

She lifted her hand, tenderly wiping a fingertip down the track of tears that also stained his face. "You are truly here. You are here in my arms," she whispered incredulously.

"I'm not going anywhere. Not ever," he promised, holding her close. "I am never leaving you alone again."

She delighted in his closeness, could still feel him inside her. He wasn't as stiff as he had been earlier, but he was still there and she could feel the beat of his heart through the vein in his member. It throbbed, echoing the racing of her own heart. She planted a trail of soft kisses across his face, tasting the salt from their sweat, the sweet tang of his skin. He groaned, and she could feel him harden within her.

"You're gong to kill me if we keep this up," he chuckled softly in her ear as he nibbled on the lobe.

"Oh? Are you too tired?" she said as her drew her palm up the small of his back. He thrust forward and she gasped with enjoyment, her loins welcoming the movement.

"Never." He twisted around, so that she was on her stomach, never leaving her body. He began to plunge forward, his mouth keeping time as he nipped, sucked and bit into the supple flesh on the back of her neck. His strong hands stroked her sensitive back. She struggled for breath, mind numbed by the incredible bliss he was giving her inside and out. Her hands clutched convulsively at the sheets, animalistic moans issuing from the back of her throat.

"That's it. That's what I want," he growled in her ear. "Purr for me, Kat."

Instead she screamed, glorying in yet another earth-shattering explosion, fingers tearing the sheets as she seized them frantically. "Howie! Oh god! HOWIE!"

His orgasm swept across him at the same time and he pounded into her flesh, deeper and deeper, crying out his joy; crying out her name.


AJ paced the floor in his living room anxiously. He had to get to her. Had to find her. She and Howie were probably speaking each other by now. AJ had convinced himself that he knew his friend well enough to believe that Howie wouldn't forgive her actions. Sex had always been a touchy subject with Howie, and AJ doubted that the other man could forgive that kind of unfaithfulness easily. If anything they would argue for days before either gave way. If they ever did. Kat had always been stubborn; AJ admired that about her. If she was determined not to let Howie back into her life because of her…what? Guilt? No, it had to be because of her love for him, for AJ. That would be why she wouldn't take Howie back, or let him try and take her back.

He just had to let her know he felt the same way; that Howie didn't matter. He'd get over it eventually once he saw how much AJ and Kat loved each other. How much better suited they were for each other. Howie was his friend; he'd understand.

Nick and Brian wouldn't tell him where she was, and he doubted Kevin would either. The older man would be determined to stand in AJ's way on this one. Was convinced that it was Howie that Kat should be with. Wouldn't he be surprised. There had to be some way…

He flipped through his address book, then picked up the phone. He dialed the number and waited for an answer.

"Mr. Bondon, please. Its AJ McLean."


"Where's your cat?" Howie asked as they sat on the bed, eating the pizza that Kat had ordered. She really didn't have much food in the house; hadn't felt hungry for days. But her appetite was coming back now. Perhaps all the exercise…

"She died."

"What? When?"

"Two days after you went back to Orlando. I couldn't cope. I was so upset about… I woke up one morning and she had passed away in her sleep. She was an old cat; I should have expected it," she said sadly. "It still hurt so much. Like I'd lost everyone I loved in the world."

He leaned across the pizza carton and kissed her, licking a drop of sauce from her lips. "You hadn't lost me. You just didn't know it."

Kat leaned into his kiss. "If you keep this up, you'll never walk again," she said impishly.

He laughed. "I'd like to think that five times is enough for one day."

She raised her eyebrow quizzically. "Is that really what you think?"

He pushed the carton aside and drew her into his arms. "What do you think?' he said as he kissed her deeply.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, finally emerging, breathless, from the kiss. "I think I'm the one who's not going to be able to walk."

"Anything to keep you trapped here in bed."

She brushed his hair back. "Do you have any idea how much I love you, Howard Dorough?"

"Oh, say that again."

"I love you, Howard Dorough."

"I thought that was what I heard," he chuckled, stroking her face. "It's a shame though."

She stiffened, scared that now, after everything that he was going to reject her for the mistakes that she had made. "A shame?"

"Yeah. Because as much as you love me, it is nothing compared to how much I love you, Katherine Morgan," he said, kissing away the fear he had seen flash across her eyes.

"You do?" A lump formed in her throat. "After everything I've done to hurt you?"

"Yes. Unquestionably. I love you. We've all made mistakes in our lives, and these ones hurt you more than they did me. I love you, and only you."

She settled into his arms, swallowing back her tears. "I could never love anyone other than you. You complete me, Howie. You fill the void in me I didn't even know I had."

He kissed the top of her head, hugging her even closer. "Glad we got that squared away."

Kat laughed.

"Now, my lady. Can I be a real spoilsport and sleep for a while?"

"Of course. Just…Howie? Can I tell you something? About that night?"

He never wanted to even think about that night again, never wanted to think about her with AJ. God, what was going to happen when they saw AJ again? He gulped down his discomfort. "What?"

"That was how I knew…"

"Knew what?"

"How much I loved you. When you called that morning, and I heard your voice. It was the first time that your voice was the first thing I heard in the morning. And I realized. That was the only sound I ever wanted to hear. Each and every morning…"

He twisted around so that he was facing her. "Then it is the only sound you will hear…" he whispered as he began kissing her deeply.

"I thought you were tired…" she giggled, feeling his interest against her thigh.

"Sleep later. Love you now," he growled.


It was hours later that Howie woke to a buzzing sound. It just wouldn't stop. He couldn't figure out what it was. The alarm clock was off. He tried to sit up without rousing Kat, but she raised her head from his chest when he moved, hair wild, a sleepy look on her face. "What?"

"Hello, beautiful," he said. "Sorry to wake you. I just couldn't figure out what that noise was."

She cocked her head, listening. "It's my cell phone. Who would be calling me at," she glanced at the clock, "8 a.m?" Then she turned back to him with a devilish grin. "My, my Mr. Dorough, we've been at this for more than 24 hours. You are a naughty boy."

He laughed. "So go answer the phone so we can get back to it."

She climbed out of bed, pulling her shirt around her and padded into the living room. "Hello?"

"Kat?" a male voice asked. It was familiar but she couldn't place it.

"This is she."

"Its AJ."

She almost dropped the phone.

"Kat? Are you still there?"

"How did you get my number? Did Nick or Kevin…?"

"No, I called Bondon." He laughed shortly, "he's a BSB lawyer so he couldn't refuse one of us."

"What do you want, AJ?" she asked bluntly.

"How are you? Are you okay? I missed you."


He was getting irritated. "So that's it. Blame me for everything."

She sighed. "I don't blame you. I thought it was my fault. You were the one who tried to take responsibility. Why did you do that, AJ? Why did you lie?"

"I didn't lie, I just didn't tell them everything. I was trying to protect you."

"AJ, that is why I left. I did something stupid and I knew it could destroy your friendship with Howie. I left because I couldn't let that happen."

"Stupid? Making love to me was stupid?"

"You know what I mean."

"No, I don't. That night was important to me. I felt something, and you just think it was stupid?" he said angrily.


"You called me Alex that night," he reminded her.

"Please, I don't want to talk about this."

"But you are talking to Howie, aren't you? I know he's there with you now," he accused.

She turned, seeing Howie leaning against the doorway. Their eyes met, hers with trepidation, his with concern. "Yes, he is here, AJ." Howie stood up straight, surprised to hear who she was speaking to. "And yes we are talking."

"What is he saying? Is he telling you that he forgives you? Don't believe him. Howie has Catholic sensibilities, and that kind of betrayal he doesn't like," AJ said cruelly.

"Why are you doing this?" she whispered nervously.

"Please don't listen to him, Kat," he begged. "Please listen to me first. I have to tell you…"

"Tell me what, AJ?"

"I love you, Kat. I want you. I need you. I love you. Please come here, come to ME."

Kat paled so much that Howie stepped forward, there to catch her if she fainted. He grabbed the phone from her hand, "Kat are you okay? Dammit, what did you say to her, AJ?"

AJ sighed heavily. "The truth, D. I told her the truth."

Chapter 21