The sun shone brilliantly as Julian and Eve headed for downtown Harmony. They sat quietly, enjoying the intimate touch of their hands.

Julian squeezed Eve’s hand as he stared ahead at the road.

Eve turned in her seat and faced him. Removing her hand from his, she placed it at the nape of his neck and let her fingers play with his hair. Leaning her head against the car’s headrest, she smiled as she watched him try to keep his attention on the road.

“If you keep this up, we just may hit the ditch,” he warned, grinning at her playfully for a moment and then turning his attention back to the road.

Eve laughed lightly. “It doesn’t take much, does it?”

“Not with you, Eve. I am putty in your hands; you know that!” he said as he took her other hand and kissed it.

Eve smiled at him warmly. “You have the same effect on me,” she admitted, as she withdrew her hand from his neck and sat back into her seat.

He reached down and took her hand again. “I want to touch you as long as I can,” he explained, his mood changing slightly.

Eve swallowed hard. “I’m sorry, Julian. I’ve made things worse by coming to you.”

“No!” he objected. “I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” He squeezed her hand and smiled tenderly.

Eve blushed. “It was amazing, wasn’t it?”

“There are no words, Eve.” He kissed her hand, then placed it on his knee and laced his fingers with hers.

As they approached the hospital, Julian steered the car into the underground parking lot. He found a parking spot and parked his car. Turning off the engine, he sat for a moment, staring straight ahead.

They sat in silence for few minutes, neither willing to say anything to put an end to their magical time together. Finally Julian exhaled and flipped up his steering wheel. He turned in his seat to face her.

His own eyes filled with tears as he watched Eve’s trickle down her cheeks. He reached out and tenderly placed his palm against her cheek, wiping a tear with his thumb. A moment later, he drew her head towards him as he leaned closer to her.

Through her tears, she gazed at him, trying to no avail not to cry. Her body started to tremble as her emotions overtook her.

Julian pulled her into his arms and held her close. He buried his face in her hair in an attempt to hide his own.

After a few minutes, Eve pulled back and attempted to wipe her face free of her tears. She sighed heavily and tried to smile at him.

Julian touched her face, tracing her tear stains down to her lips. His breathing stopped for a moment when she parted them as he drew her closer, his face inches from hers.

The anticipation was nearly driving Eve crazy as she closed her eyes, waiting for his kiss.

Finally pressing his lips to hers, Julian deepened the kiss. Moving his mouth over hers, he kissed her with a fervor that threatened to consume him.

Eve gripped him tightly, trying to control her body’s response to his passionate kiss. As he invaded her mouth, she gave in to her own need to be part of him and boldly caught his tongue as she returned his kisses with the same love and desire that he expressed to her.

Coming up for air, Julian breathed deeply and then kissed her briefly, his lips lingering a breaths space from hers. His hands in her hair, he drew her completely into his arms and hugged her tightly to him.

Eve sighed as she placed her cheek against his broad shoulder, his masculine strength overwhelming her senses. Breathing deeply, she closed her eyes and enjoyed his presence, always affecting her, unlike any other man she had ever known.

Eve smiled as she thought of the countless times he had tried to hit on her, and unknown to him, he had made her tremble each time with an unwanted desire. Her heart would always beat just a bit faster.

Even though she had put on this front, this display of hate, she was always furious with her body’s reaction to his presence. It betrayed every emotional wall she had built for herself, every thought that he was a despicable human being, every distasteful thing she had ever tried to make herself believe about him.

She smiled as he exhaled into her hair. She readjusted her head against the black designer fabric of his suit jacket. She had always thought he looked incredible in a black suit, but to be here in his arms, her cheek against his shoulder, with the intoxicating scent of his cologne and his arms around her, Eve sighed, his nearness overwhelming her as her heart pounded erratically at the sudden thought of ever being without him.

“Eve…” Julian broke the silence between them.

“Hmmm,” she murmured as if in a trance.

He chuckled, “My love, we better go in before someone sees us.” He pushed her back slightly to look into her eyes. “As much as I would like to remain here with you in my arms, we had best be going.”

Eve nodded and glanced towards the elevator. “Yes, I should have been here hours ago. TC will wonder where I am.”

The mention of TC’s name caused Julian’s eyes to flash briefly.

Eve caught the look and placed her hand against his cheek. “You have my heart, Julian. No matter what, you will always have my heart.”

A tear escaped his eye as he smiled, “I know; I have always known that. Even when you thought you hated me, there was always something there, some unspoken word or unspoken gesture. I knew, even though you fought me tooth and nail, I knew.” He grinned.

Eve laughed, “I was pretty hard on you, wasn’t I?”

Julian smiled, “Well, I want you to know, whatever you decide to do, whatever…” He paused and searched for a word. “Whatever path you decide to take, you will always own my heart and soul. Forever! And I will always be there for you. All you have to do is ask.” He placed a gentle kiss on her lips.

“Thank you, Julian, for understanding, for being the man I need you to be, for loving me so completely.” Her voice broke for a moment. Shaking her head, she smiled suddenly and held up her little finger.

He gripped it with his with a curious look on his face.

Smiling, she said, “My heart and yours, bound together, forever!”

He pulled her close, “Amen!” he whispered as their lips met to seal the promise properly.

“Well,” Eve said as she pulled back, trying to catch her breath. “I think I better go.” She opened the car door.

Julian leaned over and kissed her quickly one more time, “Yes, you better,” he smiled.

Eve looked at him for a long moment and then, with one last smile, she stepped out of the car.

Julian remained in his car and watched Eve walk to the hospital elevator. He waved when she turned in the elevator and waved to him as she waited for the doors to close.

Julian sighed heavily as he leaned back into his seat. His mind was in a blur, his heart aching, as he watched Eve disappear from his view. Closing his eyes, he sat and thought of what to do next. A few minutes later, he locked his car and headed for the elevator. “I think it’s time I talked to my daughter.” He smiled as he thought of Whitney. Nothing in the world, next to being with Eve, had ever made him happier than to know that precious girl was his own.