Rain poured hard as steam rose from the hood of the crippled car. Dusk was beginning to set in, and the driving rain made everything appear darker than normal.
Julian groaned behind the wheel of the car, trying to remember what happened, the gash in his forehead trickling blood. He and Eve had been driving… “Eve!” he cried out in alarm.
She stirred next to him, trying to unbuckle her tightened seatbelt. “Julian? Are you all right?” Her voice was shaking.
Julian grasped her hand in his and tried to get closer to her. “I think I have a cut on my forehead, but other than that, I feel fine. Are you all right? I can’t see very well, and the car lights won’t come on.”
“I am fine, a little shaken…but nothing’s broken, that I can tell,” she said in relief.
“What are we going to do?”
“Cell phone, where is my phone?” Julian fumbled around in the semi-dark car. A few moments later he found it. Turning it on, he cursed when the light came on and then immediately went off again. “Mine is dead, Eve. Did you bring yours?”
“Yes, let me find my purse.” She groped around until she found it on the floor. “Got it!” she announced, but then cried out in dismay, “No service?!”
Julian grabbed the phone from her. “What? Nothing ever works when you need it to!” he exclaimed in disgust.
“What are we going to do, Julian? We can’t stay in this car all night; we’ll freeze.”
“Well, if we go out in the rain, we won’t be any better off.” He leaned forward to look up at the sky, searching for any sign that it might let up. “It is getting too dark to do anything but wait.”
Squinting in the dark, Eve suddenly shouted with joy. “Look, a driveway! Maybe someone lives there, and we can use their telephone.”
“You don’t know that for sure. All we will end up doing is catching our death of cold in this rain. I vote that we stay in the car till morning and find some way to keep warm.”
Eve shook her head stubbornly. “I am not spending the night in this car.”
“But it’s a nice car,” Julian pointed out.
“That may be, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. We could be home in an hour or so if we go see if there is a phone nearby.” Eve looked out the window at the driveway.
He reached out and placed his fingers on her chin, turning her head to face him. “What is the real reason you don’t want to spend the night in here?” he asked.
“I don’t know what you mean,” she lied, trying to turn away from his probing eyes.
He held her fast as he leaned closer, his lips a breath’s space from hers. “Are you afraid we might do this?” he asked as he lightly brushed his lips against hers.
Eve sank against him, her hands clinging to his jacket.
He smiled as she responded to his kiss, tangling his fingers in her hair.
Coming to her senses, Eve pushed him away. “No! We can’t do this. I am married to TC!” she cried.
“Hmm,” Julian murmured, unmoved, “and I, to Rebecca.” He caressed her cheek with his thumb and then moved to her lips.
“No!” She brushed his hand away, her heart pounding, betraying every word she protested.
Sighing in defeat, Julian pulled back. “All right, we will go see if anyone lives on that road, but we aren’t going far. I will not get soaked for nothing. If there is nothing nearby, we are coming back to the car and waiting till morning.” He climbed out of the vehicle, disappointed that she refused to spend the night with him in the small confines of his car. “Besides, this is a two hundred thousand dollar car; someone might steal it.”
“The car is wrecked. Who is going to steal it?” Eve laughed.
“You never know.” He helped her out of the car. “There are all kinds of weird people in this world. I am sure even a totaled car like this would be of value to some.”
Racing up the driveway, Eve was thrilled to find a cabin not too far in. Knocking on the door, she turned and smiled at her victory.
Julian raised his eyebrows and said, “The place looks deserted; let’s go back to the car.”
Eve ignored him and felt around the top of the door jam. “Here is the key!” She held it up in triumph.
“We can’t break in,” Julian objected.
“We are just going to use the phone, not rob the place.” She stuck the key in the lock and opened the door.
“I still say we should go back to the car and wait for daylight.”
“Nice try, Julian,” she smirked, knowing exactly what he wanted.
“But would it be so bad?” he complained as she opened the door wider and stepped in, feeling around for the light switch. Finding it, she flicked the switch. “Damn, no power.”
Julian brightened noticeably. “I guess this is a summer cottage.”
Frowning, Eve squinted in the darkness, looking for a phone.
The small cottage barely looked lived in. A fireplace and a lumpy sofa made up the living room, while a small table and counter with a single sink and four cupboards graced the kitchen.
“Hmm…” Julian glanced around in the dark. “Wonder if there is a bed.”
Eve slapped his arm. “Stop it!” she retorted.
“What??” he cried. “It was an innocent question.”
“Sure it was,” she returned. “I am not spending the night with you, Julian, so get over it.”
He smiled and suddenly pulled her into his arms. “Your sweet lips say one thing, but your heart and body say another.” He placed a sensual kiss on her lips.
After a fleeting response, she pulled from his arms. “Stop this, Julian. I told you at Sheridan’s cottage, this can’t happen. I won’t be disloyal to TC.” She turned to look for a phone again.
On the kitchen counter lay a flashlight. Julian, in the nearly dark room, spotted the tool and reached for it. Turning it on, he discovered that it provided little light as the batteries appeared to be almost dead. He did, however, find a phone on the wall next to the kitchen with the faint beam from the flashlight. “You can’t deny our love forever, Eve,” he remarked.
Ignoring him, Eve dashed for the phone. “Damn, it’s dead as well,” she whined.
Unconcerned, Julian opened a door to the left of the entrance. A small bed stood against one wall of the tiny room. “I think we should wait out the storm here. At least we will be comfortable,” he said with a smile. “Very comfortable,” he added under his breath.
Curious, Eve peered past his arm into the room. Straightening immediately, she said, “I think we have trespassed enough. Let’s go back to the car.” She turned to head for the door.
Julian grabbed her arm. “This place is deserted. I really don’t think the owners will mind if stranded motorists spend the night. After all, they did leave the key.” He smiled at her nervousness. “I am going to make a fire; hold the light for me.” He handed the nearly dead flashlight to her.
Eve knew she was defeated, and she certainly didn’t want to spend the night in the car alone, so she took the light and shined it at the fireplace for him.
“At least there is a wood box,” Julian said in thankful relief.
“What about matches?” Eve asked.
Finding a book nearby, he held them up in triumph. “Check!” He smiled.
Fifteen minutes later, Julian finally had the fire going after numerous failed attempts. Eve had put aside the dead flashlight and helped him crumple old newspaper to keep the flame burning until the wood caught fire.
Julian rubbed his hands together to try to relieve some of the chill that had set in from the jog in the rain. “Now all we have to do is get out of these wet clothes.” He grinned.
Eve looked at him in shock. “Are you kidding? I am not getting undressed.”
Julian turned around and found a stack of blankets in the now lit room. “See, blankets.” He pointed.
Frowning deeply, Eve stood stubbornly. “No thanks, I’ll just stand by the fire till I dry off.”
“Well, don’t mind if I do.” He started to remove his wet jacket and shirt.
Eve stared for a moment and then looked away, embarrassed. She tensed noticeably when she heard him unbuckle his belt.
Julian grinned mischievously as he made more noise removing his belt than he needed to, enjoying her discomfort. He removed his pants and hung them over the back of the lumpy looking sofa to dry. Wrapping himself in a blanket, he pulled the sofa nearer to the fire, and after spreading another blanket on it, he sat down and stretched out on it, yawning and stretching noisily, hoping to make it sound irresistible to her.
Eve rolled her eyes and turned slightly to peek at him. He did look very comfortable stretched out on the sofa, wrapped in a warm blanket, his eyes closed, as he relaxed in the warmth of the fire.
“This is not going to be such a bad night after all.” He smiled, his eyes still closed. “For me, anyway,” he added.
When Eve’s legs finally started to ache from standing, she gave Julian a dirty look and went to get a blanket. Making sure he wasn’t looking, she got out of her wet clothes and wrapped two blankets tightly around her. Slowly, she approached the sofa and sat at the other end, opposite Julian, pushing his feet off of it.
Julian, pleased that she finally gave in and stopped being foolish, sat up and immediately moved over next to her, nuzzling her ear. “I promise I won’t do anything you don’t want me to, Eve,” he whispered.
Eve tried to move away, but ran out of room. “I don’t want you to crowd me like this,” she said nervously.
“See, I don’t think you are being honest. I think you want me as much as I want you.” He smiled.
“No!” she practically shouted.
Ignoring her outburst, Julian continued to mess with her mind. “Tell me, Eve,” he whispered as he leaned against her. “Tell me again how much you love me.”
Eve’s heart pounded madly as she desperately tried to make herself get up, run, anything to get away from his arms as his lips moved closer to hers.
“I love you,” he whispered, his eyes dark with desire. “I just want to hold you.” He softened, moving back slightly, giving up his threatening advances.
Eve stared at him as he sat back against the other end of the sofa, tugging gently on her hand.
Placing his feet on the floor, Julian pulled her into his arms, resting her head against his chest. He cradled her like a child, resting on his lap. “There, relax now and try to get some sleep.” He pushed back a few strands of hair from her forehead.
Eve relented and relaxed against him, stretching her legs along the sofa, enjoying the warmth of his embrace. Exhaling as all the day’s tension melted away, she said, “This is nice.”
“Yes it is,” he agreed, playing with her hair.
Eve closed her eyes, allowing herself to enjoy the nearness of him. Fight him she did, for the sake of the vows she made in church before God and all their friends, but it was becoming more and more difficult to resist him. Every time she thought she got through to him that they couldn’t be together, he became more determined to change her mind. He wasn’t forcing her to do anything against her will; he just knew how to get her to see what she really wanted. He knew the burning passion that she possessed, and only he knew how to bring it out in her. She sighed and burrowed against him, her face against his shirt, inhaling the scent of him. It thrilled her to no end, much to her annoyance.
After about an hour, Julian’s legs started getting numb from the weight of Eve sleeping against them. As much as he adored having her there, it was becoming too uncomfortable to bear. “Eve…” He nudged her gently, trying to rouse her from her sleep.
She moved but only buried herself deeper against him.
He hated having to wake her, so he lifted her slightly and eased himself out from under her. He set her down on the sofa, resisting the urge to kiss her as he watched her sleep for a moment. It had been a long time since he had indulged in that pleasure, so he took a moment to enjoy it before stirring the fire.
Checking his clothes, he turned them to dry the other side. Picking up Eve’s shirt, he held it up to his nose and inhaled the lingering scent of her perfume. “Oh, Eve,” he sighed, forcing himself to put it back down. He flipped her slacks as well and had to beat down the thoughts that entered his mind.
He walked around for a bit to work out the numbness in his legs and then decided to try the bed. It almost killed him to leave Eve and sleep in the other room, but she looked so peaceful and relaxed, he didn’t have the heart to wake her so that he could join her on the sofa again.
He stared at the bed for moment, not too thrilled to be sleeping in it…and alone at that. Pulling back the covers, he sighed in relief that it was clean and looked rather inviting. He sat down, leaning over to look out at Eve sleeping on the sofa. He was tempted to carry her to the bed to sleep next to him, but forced himself to behave like a gentleman. Sulking at his voice of reason, he climbed under the covers and threw the blanket he had wrapped around himself on top of the one that was on the bed.
Eve opened her eyes and stared at the dying fire. Confused, she blinked and then sat up. Remembering where she was, she called Julian’s name. When he didn’t respond, she began to panic. Seeing the bedroom door open, she calmed immediately.
Approaching the door, she stopped in the entrance. Leaning to the side to allow what was left of the fire to give her light, she smiled as she watched Julian sleep. Wrapping the blankets more comfortably around her, she approached the bed and tentatively sat down next to him.
His face relaxed, he looked more handsome than ever. Eve reached out and grazed her fingers along his cheek, pausing at the corner of his mouth. She fought an overwhelming urge to kiss him.
He stirred in his sleep, and she quickly withdrew her hand.
Opening his eyes, he smiled at the sight of her. “Eve…”
“I, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you. I woke up and didn’t know where you were.” She started to get up.
“No.” He sat up quickly and took hold of her arm. “Don’t leave,” he pleaded.
“I have to, Julian. I can’t stay in here with you.”
“Yes, you can. If you would only allow yourself to be free…” he started.
“But that’s the problem, Julian. I’m not free. I am married to TC,” she protested weakly.
“Shh…” he whispered, pulling her against him. “Let’s not talk about TC, or Rebecca. It’s just you and me, and our love.”
“Julian…” she protested softly, just as his lips settled on hers.
Against her mouth, he breathed, “Let me love you. I need you so much.” Pulling her down on the bed with him, he kissed her desperately.
Eve sank onto the pillow next to him, her fingers creeping into his hair. She knew she should push him away, but her body refused to listen to her brain; instead it responded to his roaming hands as they gently caressed her.
Julian’s heart soared with excitement, scarcely believing that she wasn’t resisting his obvious intentions. His hand glided across her stomach, still enveloped in the two blankets she had wrapped around herself. Carefully he moved his hand up to her breast, stopping just below it, not wanting to rush things…afraid he would spook her. Instead, he skipped over it and moved up to caress her throat.
Eve’s heart pounded madly in anticipation of his touch. Her body, on fire from his gentle caress…her mind, drugged from every passionate kiss…as that old familiar feeling came rushing back, and she remembered being loved by Julian Crane.
The wet heat of his mouth moving over hers caused Eve to moan with pleasure. His tongue sought hers, gliding against it, trying to entice her to explore his mouth. When she finally obliged, he wasted no time grabbing hold of it with his lips, suckling gently.
Eve just about lost it as he completely ravished her mouth, lips and tongue. In the midst of their passionate kisses, the blankets came loose and exposed her bra-clad breasts to the cool air. Eve shivered.
Julian pushed the blankets completely away from her chest and again carefully glided his hand up the smoothness of her stomach to her breast. When she gasped with anticipation against his mouth, Julian needed no more encouragement as his hand lightly brushed against it.
He felt like a kid with a new toy. It had been twenty-five years since he’d been treated to this delicate treasure, and he was not going to squander this moment for another second. He moved to kiss her throat, enjoying the low moan it produced from her.
Eve’s body quivered as his mouth moved over her breast, sending her mind and soul into orbit. If there was ever a moment for her to turn back, it was gone now. She was lost in the incredible wave of passion that welled up inside her. Expertly, he took her down memory lane as he reminded her what it used to be like between them.
“Julian…” she cried against his mouth as his body became one with hers.
Capturing her mouth with his, he shared her astonishment, as together, they experienced the most intimate form of their love, erasing everything except the fervent passion that burned between them.
As the wee morning hours slipped away, Julian and Eve rocked the tiny cabin, unable to get enough as they desperately clung to each other, trying to burn into their mind and bodies those precious few hours that they had together, not knowing what tomorrow may bring.