Disclaimers: Well, I don't really have to do this with this one. My characters, my story. There might be a certain resemblance to two ladies some of you might recognise but hey ... that could be purely coincidental...<smile>

Subtext: Yup, all the way through the story ... if this bothers you or if you are too young, please don't read this story.

Violence: No, not really. Some fist-fights maybe.

Language: I don't use English in my day to day life so I apologise for any spelling or grammar mistakes. You're welcome to point them out to me, though. <smile> Oh yeah ... I'm using 'proper' English spelling - just thought I let you know...

Setting: There are not a lot of stories out there set in Europe so I thought I might change that. (My being European and all ... <smile>) Set in northern Germany. A town called Lübeck. All the places, streets and bars are real. And it's a beautiful little town....I tried to keep German to a minimum - just some phrases now and then....

A Final Note: For all of you who read "Falling"…………this is going to have a happy end. I had to promise……<smile>

Any comments are welcome: gritjahning@hotmail.com

vorsichtig kleiner Mann – careful, little man


Fragments - Part 6

by Grit Jahning


...Looking in your eyes tonight
I can see everything I need

Holding your heart close to mine

Feeling you, breathing you

We melt together, two become as one

Night is burning hotter than the sun

When I'm with you

When I'm with you

I could drown in your eyes
Die in your arms

Live for these moments here in the dark

I don't know where I end

Not sure where you start

When we're body to body, heart to heart

Breathing every breath with you
Next to you is where I need to be

Part of every part of you

Feeling you, feeling me

We melt together in a tender kiss

No night has ever been a night like this

When I'm with you

When I'm with you

I could drown in your eyes
Die in your arms

Live for these moments here in the dark

I don't know where I end

Not sure where you start

When we're body to body, heart to heart

*"Body to body, heart to heart" written by Diane Warren


- 20 -


It was hot.

This was pretty much the first thing one noticed when stepping outside. The humidity in the air heavy and thick. Scents of warm bodies, skin lotion, perfume and ice cream lingering heavily in the air. The soft humming of bees and wasps a constant carpet of noise surrounding the benches and tables that had been placed underneath massive old trees in a backyard.

The thick tree tops providing enough shade to keep the yard cool and comfortable.

It was late in the evening and just now darkness was slowly – lazily dropping over the city. The bar was still busy – most of the guests sitting outside to enjoy at least the slight breeze that had set in as the sun went down.

Music was playing – adding a pleasant sound to the conversations that now and then were interrupted by cheerful laughter or a shout.

Matthias smiled and leaned back in his chair. He was wearing shorts and a loose T-shirt. Trying to move as little as possible.

"Hey du müder Knochen...."

The low voice sounded up next to him and he looked up. Right into a pair of pale blue eyes that smiled at him.

"Hey Ray....gonna mop me up?" He blinked at her pitiful. Receiving an affectionate laugh.

The tall woman looked around the backyard and stretched a kink out of her back. It was close to midnight and she was just checking on things before heading home.

Turning to her friend again, she sat down on the chair next to him. "I talked to that guy about the air conditioning. The price sounds okay....I think we should consider it. We need to replace the old one anyway."

"Mmh." Matthias sat up a little. "Yeah, I know.....if you think the price is fair, I'll call him tomorrow."


She smiled. Again turning her eyes to the guests sitting around the tables. The bar was open now for almost a year and a half and things were looking good. They had had a few slow months but had passed that difficulty within reasonable losses. Since Liv had stopped working in the bar they didn't have to dismiss anyone else from the staff.

Matthias tilted his head. He had cut his hair very short during the summer and was now rubbing the back of his neck. Studying his friend.

Ray had a small smile on her lips. Her features obviously relaxed and content. And from the look in her eyes somewhere far away.

He sighed silently. It felt good to see her this happy. In the past year there had been a light in her eyes he had never seen there before. He had seen her happy, of course – but it never even came close to what he was now seeing every time she smiled.

He smirked and shook his head a little. Who would have thought....

Clearing his throat, he said: "By the way....the brewery is making a pretty good offer, too. You might want to take a look at it. I put it on your desk."

It took a moment but then the dark head turned his way. "Mmh?.....Oh, yeah....sure."

He laughed and slapped her arm. "Oh Ray, Ray, Ray.....where were you just now?"

If he didn't know better he would say she was blushing. "Just thinking."

His smile turned teasing and he waggled his brows. "Oh yeah?"

She chuckled and brushed her fingers through her dark mane. Lifting it from her neck to get some air.

"Why don't you get it cut? Would save you all this trouble."

Rayne snorted and brushed the dark mane back. "'Cause Liv would kill me." Joining her low laughter, he watched as that small smile returned. She had been in a giddy mood the whole week and he knew it could mean only one thing.

"Did you get it?"

Those pale eyes turned his way. A big smile on her lips. "Yup, sure did."

"That's great! I told you, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did....Matti...." Her low voice was teasing as she used the nickname Liv had come up with.

He only shrugged and grinned all the broader. "When are you going to tell her?"

"I want to show it to her today. She has her day off at the clinic so.....can you take care of the things I asked you."

"Sure, no problem. But you gonna owe big time." He draw out the last two words and grinned at her. Only receiving rising dark brows as an answer. Shaking his blond head, he leaned back again. "Ray....you are getting domesticated." This earned him a real laugh from his friend.

"I know....and I wouldn't want it any other way."

He smiled. Watching as she got up...waving to someone she recognised. "By the way....do you mind taking a look at the offer from the brewery?"

"No....it's in the office, right?"


"Okay." Heading to the back entry, she ruffled his short locks. "See you tomorrow."

The bar was quiet since all guests were sitting outside. Music and voices only a soft sound drifting through the windows.

She heard the low rattling of the air conditioner, glad that they would get a new one. She said hello to two of their waiters who were getting drinks from the bar and headed to the back area of the bar.

Here the bathrooms for guests as well as for the staff and a small kitchen were located. And the small room Matthias and she used as an office. She was about to enter when she heard a soft voice.

"Good evening, Ray..."

Straightening, she turned and looked at Susie. The tall brunette wore a dress that didn't really fit the description of tight since it was way beyond tight. Brushing long wavy locks from her shoulders, she stepped closer. A sweet smile on her lips.

"Working late?"

Rayne sighed. "Susie, this is a ‘staff only' area....please leave."

Bright red lips pouted and the woman walked closer still. Her perfume a heavy scent that drifted Rayne's way in thick waves.

"Oh now, Ray....I just want to talk to you."

"My name's Rayne."

Susie noticed that the tall frame had stiffened and those pale eyes narrowed in obvious impatience and anger. But not quite ready yet, to give up. Enjoying this way too much. And besides.....dark eyes travelled along the tall, muscular frame. A little fun was all she wanted and she was sure that they could have a lot of fun together.

If it wasn't for that little, annoying....blonde....

She walked closer. "Where's your little friend?"

This time a deep frown shaped those handsome features and Rayne took the last step forward. Their bodies almost touching. Pale blue looking down in dark eyes. "My partner is at home. Asleep....and I was just on my way to her......and if I ever find you back here, again, I will ban you from the bar. Am I making myself clear?" Her voice was calm and low. But her eyes were cold. And angry.

Susie bit her lower lip. She contemplated a sharp answer herself but swallowed the urge. Rayne presented a challenge to her.

And she liked challenges....

"I hear you loud and clear, Ray." Turning, she waved at the tall form. "See you."

Rayne shook her head and entered her office. It took her only a moment to find the note Matthias had left for her. Tugging it into a pocket, she locked the door and left the bar through the front entry.

By now more than ready to go home and cuddle up with Liv. She hadn't seen her the whole day since she had to leave for the bar shortly before Liv had returned from work.

She had reached her car and stood next to it for a moment. Closing her eyes, she leaned back her head and just enjoyed the soft breeze that was caressing her face.

Blinking pale blue eyes open as she studied the stars above. She was able to make out a plane whose lights were winking spots of moving colours.

A lot of the boats that usually were towed to the walls of the canal had left the city to make their way to the sea. Their owners using the weather to take a trip along the coast. Reminding her of so many days she had spent with her father out on the sea.

She had thought about getting a boat but it would have to wait for another few years.

And the reason why put back the small smile on her lips. Oh, she couldn't wait to see Liv's face when she told her.

Whistling, she got in her car and headed for their apartment.

The streets were empty. Only now and then one of the busses that were in order during the night passed by. A few late night walkers enjoying the night that had at last cooled down the air some.

She opened her window and took a deep breath. From somewhere music was drifting her way and she smiled. But then a small frown wrinkled dark brows.

"Mmh....how do I tell her?......Liv, there is something I want to show you." Naw, that sounded too dubious. Mmh....well, she would think of something.

And since she had one surprise in store already...

What if she won't like it? Rayne bit her lower lip. They hadn't really talked about it after all. That Liv had moved in with her had seemed only natural since she had spent most of her time there. And because neither of them made it through the day if they didn't see each other at least once.

And spending the night without Liv had actually been.....Rayne released a slow breath. The dreams had been back on those occasions. She would wake up – for a moment not knowing where she was. Lost. Hurting.


Not being able to turn around and feel Liv's warm body. Or see her face....

It had been frightening, somehow.

It had been an adjustment, of course....she had never really considered herself capable of living with someone. Her time at the college where she had shared an apartment with Matthias had taught her that.

They had gone along but she had a few quirks that he usually had laughed about but accepted. Nevertheless sharing private space with someone no matter how good a friend he was had been difficult for her.

But with Liv...

Sharing with her --- an apartment....her life....was what she wanted.

What she needed.

But this was a big step. Not because of the money. She had got the house for a fair price since there were still a lot of things she needed to do on the house. Things that needed fixing – but it was a big step, nevertheless.

Still thinking about that, she got out of her car and locked it then headed towards the apartment house. She saw that there was still light shining in the living room and frowned for a totally different reason. One look at her watch told her that is was almost 2 a.m.

The hallway was quiet. Only the sighing of the steps as she walked upstairs broke through the silence – and very faintly she heard voices and music. The muffled sound of footsteps on carpet.

Their flat lay just as quietly.

The small lamp in the living room that was still lit, highlighted the huge room. Dropping her jacket on one of the chairs, she walked quietly towards the back area of the room. A smile already on her lips as she saw the curled up form on the couch. Snuggled into a soft, thin blanket....only dishevelled blonde locks peeking out.

And no other sound but the soft, deep breathing that indicated that Liv was fast asleep.

Rayne sighed and sat down on the small table in front of the sofa. Just looking at the small form.

There was something inexplicably peaceful about watching Liv sleep. Maybe it was the way her face seemed to be alight with a strength and grace – even in her sleep.

Or maybe it was that little smile that played around her lips.

Or the way a few stray blonde strands always managed to escape. Tickling pale brows.

Maybe it was the scent that surrounded Liv when she slept. A mixture of warmth and something Rayne couldn't quite put a finger on.

Maybe it was the way her small frame curled into her direction. No matter where she was. Liv always knew. Usually waking up only moments after she would leave the bed to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen. Those sleepy green eyes would blink at her and by the time she got back into bed Liv wrapped herself around her own taller form.

Or it was the way her cheeks always held a slight pink flush.

Brushing her hands through her dark hair, she then rested her arms on her knees and leaned forward. Her pale eyes alive with emotions so deep they enhanced the blue of her eyes.

"...or maybe it's just that I love you..." The soft whisper broke through the quiet of the apartment. "...and that I can't imagine a life without you..."

One year.

Liv had been in her life for a year and she still couldn't understand how she had survived without her. Maybe because before Liv she had only existed. And only the strange feeling somewhere inside that always told her that there was someone waiting, had kept her going.

And here she was.

No.....here they were.

A hand reached out and gently – ever so gently brushed blonde locks to the side. Lingering on the soft, warm skin it found.

The tall form leaned forward and brushed soft lips to a equally soft cheek. "....hey sleepyhead...."

First there was no reaction but then the cute ball of blanket and blonde head moved. Whispering something just to fall asleep again.

Rayne smiled. She knew that Liv would be hurting all over if she'd let her sleep on the couch. And besides, it was way too small for the two of them......Mmhh....

Getting up, she changed into a pair of shorts and an old T-shirt and then returned. Carefully she lifted Liv from the couch, swallowing as the smaller woman immediately turned into her own tall body and snuggled against her chest.

For a moment she stood like that. In a dark room with the faint sounds of a refrigerator and their breathing drifting through the night. Knowing that there could be no better place than this. Home.

Walking to the back of the room, she put Liv down on the bed. Curling against her back, she wrapped her arms around the slim waist and closed her eyes. "...I love you..."

A soft sound.

Liv moved and she felt small hands on her own. Entwining them without conscious thought. Barely able to make out the soft smile on Liv's lips. And then she felt the small frame in her arms turn around. Looking right into sleepy, barely open green eyes.

"...hey..." A whisper, hoarse from sleep.

Rayne's fingers traced the gentle smile on pink lips.....replacing them with her own lips. "...hey..."


Quite without conscious thought she felt her hand start to caress Liv's belly. Moving underneath the soft T-shirt. Touching warm, soft skin. That always happened when she was close to the small blonde. This almost overwhelming need to touch her. Feel her.

To become a part of Liv...

Those green eyes opened again.

"You're not sleepy at all, are you?" Even barely awake Liv managed to sound teasing.

Rayne chuckled. "I'm fine...go back to sleep."

Liv moved again, getting a better look at chiselled features barely visible in the dark of the apartment. Tracing tender fingertips along those familiar contours.

"Love you."

Felt soft lips on her forehead. "Love you, too."

They settled into a comfortable position. Wrapped in warmth. Safe in a world all of their own.

Outside a cool breeze brushed through curtains. Carrying the faint sounds of cars. And leaves whispering among each other. Their soft voices a thin blanket that settled on the night.


- 21 -

It had rained over night. A thick, warm rain that had, instead of cooling down the air, only dampened it. The humidity a steamy cloud over grass and on top of the churches of the city.

Birds were sitting on top of lamp masts and their dark eyes surveyed the slow awakening of the city around them. Slowly, cars and people were starting to crowd the streets that had been cleaned off the dust during the night.

The sun crept lazily along the silhouettes of the city. Highlighting shining rooftops and bright green leaves. A heavy scent of blossoms and skin lotion lingering in the air.

Green eyes blinked at the window.

It was slightly ajar to admit some fresh air and a bit of a cool breeze to help cooling down the apartment. They would have to keep the blinds closed during the day because from midday on the sun was shining on the back of the old apartment house. Heating it considerably.

She hadn't moved since waking up.

Way too comfortable in her nest of warm, secure arms and tall body.

It wasn't often that she woke up before Rayne but she enjoyed these rare moments because it gave her the chance to observe her lover in her most relaxed state. To enjoy the beauty of her clearly shaped features.

Her soft lips....the dark, thick hair, that was just too tempting not to wrap gentle fingers around the long locks.

It gave her the chance to simply watch Rayne breathe. A deep, steady breathing. It made her feel safe for some reason.

To enjoy the way their bodies fit together. Two pieces of a puzzle that finally were put together...

To feel large hands caress her back in an unconscious need to touch her.

To listen to the strong, rhythmic heartbeat close to her ear.

To breathe in the scent that was Rayne.

Unable to even imagine a life without Rayne. Not knowing, how she had managed all those years without her. Friends had always told her that she was a hopeless romantic – believing there was her one true love out there. Somewhere. Waiting. Searching...

She had laughed with them.....and stopped talking about that part of herself that had carried along with hope a strange, numb feeling of pain.

And then she had woken up one morning, getting ready for an interview for a part-time job......and had run straight into her destiny.

A soft smile on pink lips.

A small hand that brushed along Rayne's jaw. A light, tender touch. Enjoying the feel of warm skin. Tiny, soft hair.

Sighing softly, Liv put her chin on the broad shoulder. How can you be so hopelessly in love with someone?

Slowly the rhythm of the heartbeat she listened to changed. The touch of a hand on her back moving towards her head. Gentle fingers brushing through her hair. Scratching her scalp.

Looking up, she saw pale blue eyes smiling at her.


Rayne smiled back and cleared her throat. "Morning."

Looking at each other for a small eternity. Not needing words.....just feeling each other said everything that needed to be said.

And then they kissed.

A slow exploration of two souls that needed nothing but each other. And then their kiss deepened and their hands started an exploration of their own.

Liv moved her smaller frame a little and lifted the shirt Rayne wore. Kissing the smooth, slightly rippled belly she found. "...len..." A breathless whisper. Her tongue tickling the navel. Painting a warm trace around it....hinting at places further south.... "....varm..."

Rayne closed her eyes again. Unable to suppress a soft moan. "...tålamod..." Gentle laughter. Gusts of warm breath against her breasts. Curious fingertips tickling trembling thighs.

Their shirts disappeared. Followed by any other piece of clothing that denied access to warm, soft skin.

And they greeted the morning with a slow joining of body, heart – and soul.


"What do you think about getting a bigger apartment?"

Liv looked up from her roll. A surprised expression on her face. Swallowing, she wrinkled pale brows thoughtfully. "What brought that on?"

Rayne scratched the side of her jaw. Good question. This was probably not the best way of approaching this topic but....

"I've been thinking about this for some time. You know....it might be nice to go look for something we both like."

"Mmh..." Liv leaned across the table. A cute, little smile on her lips. "I like this one. I really do. Of course....it got you in it, sooo...." Drawing out the last word, she tilted her blonde head and winked at Rayne.

Despite herself the taller woman chuckled. Rubbing a hand across her face, she leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms. The small smirk never leaving her face. "It was just a question."

"I see...." Liv had got up and moved around the table. Bringing with her the soft scent of fresh backed rolls and strawberries. "Well....Lorenz had asked me if I'm going to get my furniture and since they wouldn't fit in here anyway......" She shrugged. "....I'm sure it's going to be fun."

And then, obviously remembering something she clapped her hands. "Ooo......I love those old apartments in the old city."

Rayne shook her head and reached out with one arm. Wrapping it around Liv's waist. Pulling her close. Without conscious thought resting her head against the small blonde's hip. Feeling gentle fingers brush through her hair.

They stood like that for a while.

Both had their eyes closed. Just floating on the waves of emotion they could feel emanating from each other.

Outside the laughter of playing children could be heard. Someone had music turned on....the cheerful noise carrying easily through the air. Rivalling birds singing on the trees that were covered in deep green leaves.

"So...." A soft whisper. "Want to take a trip to Plön?"

Rayne had her eyes still closed....pleased with Liv's reaction to her question. It might not have been the smartest approach but at least she now knew that Liv didn't mind the idea.


"Mhm....the beach's going to be crowded. You had a busy week, I thought you might like a quiet trip across the lake.....just you and me and a small boat."

And suddenly bright green eyes glanced into hers. Pale lashes blinking.....a soft touch against her lips. "....I love you...."

Rayne enjoyed the soft caress. Liv was a gentle lover. Always taking her time in exploring her body. Whispering soft words that brushed across her sensitive skin....awakening her body in a way nobody had ever been able to. Making her feel safe in an impossibly profound way.

She surrendered to the slow kiss they shared. "I take that as a yes?"

Got a poke for that. And another brief kiss. "Yes."

"Great." She got up and stretched her long frame. Well aware of appreciating green eyes watching her. "Let's get going, then."

She passed the small blonde. Stopping for a moment to lean close. Dropping her voice an octave or two, she whispered: "I love you, too"

Her fingers brushing along Liv's belly; feeling the soft tremble. Smiling, she continued into the bathroom....pausing in the doorway – to only seconds later step aside to let Liv in.


Summer in Germany has two sides.

Sweltering hot....or rain and cold.

This year's summer was hot. A humid heat that just thinking about moving could make one break out into a sweat.

It was the perfect weather for spending the day in the garden doing nothing but being lazy and enjoying the few breezes that now and then brushed along overheated bodies.

It was the perfect weather to spend all day at the beach.

Therefore crowding every inch of sand along the coast of the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Rayne loved to go swimming.....but she hated big crowds. And she certainly had no intention to fight for a bit of hot sand to burn her skin into a lobster red.

Besides....she had far better things to do than watch naked (or half naked) people parade along the beach.

Actually, there was only one person she would want to watch parade around naked. But certainly not along a crowded beach.

A smile played around red lips. Pale blue eyes watching the body in question. Enjoying the slight swagger to those hips. Humming softly, she locked the car and walked up to Liv who had been looking around.

She wore a pair of blue shorts and a white T-shirt. Her skin had gained a deep tan over the last few weeks. Rayne knew she was staring but she couldn't care less.

"Stop leering." Liv's voice was soft and teasing. She laughed as Rayne wiggled dark brows at her. "Okay....where are we going?"

"First you have to close your eyes."

Green eyes blinked at the taller woman for a moment. And then slowly they closed. Liv didn't even think twice about that – trusting Rayne completely. But curious nevertheless: "Why do I have to close my eyes?"

Liv felt that she was being turned around. Warm hands on her shoulders and a tall presence at her back. More feeling than hearing the low chuckle.

"Because I asked you to....and because it's a surprise."

Liv thought about that and then shrugged. "Should have blindfolded me, then."

Felt a warm breath distractingly close to her ear. "Don't tempt me."

She released a slow breath. Enjoying the rush of warmth that raced through her body. A reaction Rayne's voice always caused inside her. Stirring needs and wants she had never been aware of.

There was something she couldn't explain when it came to the her physical reactions towards Rayne. She enjoyed sex. She had enjoyed sex with Torben but....

With Rayne it was different. Every touch. Every kiss. It was new....and yet it seemed to be part of her memories. Familiar.


A small smile played around her lips and she released a slow breath. Leaning back a little to make contact with the tall frame behind her.

She felt the sun beating down on them.....the temperatures already around 35°C although it was just 10 a.m. She could smell the light perfume Rayne had put on....mixed with the scent of her warm skin.

Heard cars passing them by. Pieces of conversations. Laughter. And very faintly the sound of waves. The low humming of the ferry that carried passengers across the Plöner See.

Again the low voice close by. "Falling asleep?"

She chuckled and shook her head. "Just enjoying the moment....."

There was silence for a moment and then she felt the soft touch of lips on the top of her head.

"Good.....don't open you eyes."

"I won't." Touching a hand on her shoulder. "I trust you."

The hand squeezed her fingers and then she was carefully led to a place unknown to her. But the sound of the lake became louder. Cheerful noises of ducks....birds.....from somewhere she heard a dog bark and then the spatter of water.

"Careful now....this moves."

Her feet touched a wobbly surface and she was surrounded by the heavy, metallic smell of water. Sitting down, she tilted her head. Listening to Rayne's movement. Hearing wood scrap against wood and again waves sloshing against a wooden surface.

"Can I open my eyes now?"

A low chuckle. "Nope."

Sighing, she felt around with her hands and touched Rayne's legs. Moving, she sat down on the bottom of the rowing boat she knew they were in and leaned her head against a warm thigh. Fingers caressing the warm skin idly.

Not realising when she slowly drifted off to sleep.


The small island was really nothing more than a patch of land in the middle of the lake with a few trees and grass. To one side a family of ducks had its home. The soft quacking drifting through the air.

The trees were old and tall. Their thick foliage giving a welcome shade. Underneath them a patch of grass had been covered by a soft blanket. Its deep blue a nice contrast to the green of the grass.

On top of the blanket stood a basket. A piece of paper stuck to its top. Moving slightly as the wind brushed past it.

Rayne smiled at the sight of it. She had asked Matthias to get the picnic out here and had hoped that he would make it in time.

"Oooh." The obviously pleased sound came from Liv who had woken up a few minutes ago. The pale head turned and eager green eyes blinked at her.

"Let me guess....Matti?"


Rayne rowed the boat to the small stretch of sand and jumped off. Towing it to a old, worn pole that was covered with seaweed. Its thin blades swaying softly with every wave.

Offering Liv one hand, she helped her off the boat and led her to the blanket.

The small blonde had taken her hand and entwined their fingers. Her thumb caressing her skin in a slow, gentle touch. They came to a halt and Liv shook her head. Turning, she wrapped her arms around Rayne's taller frame. Burying her face into her chest.

Releasing a deep breath. Unable to hold back the tears burning her eyes.

Rayne swallowed and just held on. Rocking the trembling form. Knowing that it had been a tough week for Liv. She didn't talk much about her work....but she didn't have to. Those green eyes saying more than words would ever be able to.

A trembling whisper. "I tried....tried so hard but...."

"Ssh...it's okay, love." Pale eyes closed. Wishing she could take away all the pain inside.

They sat down. Liv rubbing tired hands across her face. Avoiding those blue eyes she knew were watching her closely. Then a hesitant touch on her face. Soft. Barely grazing her skin. And yet cupping her soul in safe hands.

She turned her head. Blinking through dishevelled blonde bangs.

Closing her eyes as she felt Rayne's finger brush them to one side. The touch extending to trace her ear. Along her cheek.

"I'm here for you." A low, reassuring whisper.

Still keeping her eyes closed, she imagined the look on Rayne's face. The blue of her eyes. The way her brows wrinkled just at the very edge. The slight tilt to her head. The way she bit her lower lip.

Covering the image with reality as she opened her eyes. She turned her head into the large hand still cupping her cheek. Kissing the palm. Meeting those pale eyes. Drowning.


Over and over again.

"I know."

Overhead birds broke through the treetops. Bursting into the clear blue of the sky. Chirping in carefree abandon. Their small bodies floating on waves of wind rifling through their feathers.

Unaware of green and blue eyes watching them.

Unaware of two identical smiles.



The house lay dark. Just another shadow in a line of grey silhouettes. The silvery moonlight caressed along its sides. A chilly breeze brushed like a lover's kiss across its surface.

There didn't seem to be anyone home but then something moved. Briefly, but long enough for the moonlight to outlined a slim frame standing at a window.

Pale green eyes were watching the reflections of the moon dancing on the snow-covered backyard. Sparkles of icy light.

She didn't know how long she had been standing here. It was cold. She felt it in the trembling of her body. The way the soft hair on her arms prickled. Her back was to the room....as if she was trying to deny its existence. Its meaning...

God, she loved this house.

Loved it for all the memories it held.

It had been a beautiful day when Rayne had brought her out here to spend the day doing nothing but enjoying each other. The picnic on the small island. The trip across the lake.

That sneaky smile as they had started talking about how great it must be to own a house near the lake. Rayne had led her along a narrow street that climbed steadily uphill towards a line of small houses that faced the lake.

She remembered looking at one house in particular.

It wasn't much. Its exterior needing some serious work....as well as the front yard. Letting her only guess what the inside must look like. And yet...

In the soft glow of the sunset. With Rayne's quiet presence at her back. With the memory of the quiet afternoon they had spent together on the island still warm and cosy in her mind.....for her there didn't seem to be a more perfect place.

They had stood in front of the house for some time. At one point Rayne had put her chin on her shoulder. Surrounding her with the warm scent of her skin. ‘Nice, huh?" She had asked.

She had only nodded. Not quite sure how to approach the topic of them maybe getting a house. Looking for a new apartment would be one thing but....she was about to move when that low voice sounded up again.

Freezing her into place.

"When do you want to move in?"

At first she had thought it had been a joke. She had chuckled and poked Rayne's belly. Quite without conscious thought turning the touch into a gentle caress. Not caring about the line of people moving past them.

But those blue eyes had been serious and it had taken her another minute or two until she had put two and two together....and came up with the right answer.

Pale bangs rested against the cold surface of the window. A soft and sad smile on pink lips. Remembering the cute, smug expression on Rayne's handsome features.

It had taken quite some time to fix up the house.

They had spent every free weekend there. Rayne usually working on it even during the week. Matti helping when he didn't had work at the bar. Lorenz and Klaus helping as often as they could.

A slow breath against cold glass. Misting it within seconds. Then the small frame turned and Liv took in the room. Reaching out, she grabbed a stuffed animal sitting on a chest drawer.

Rayne had bought it. Surprising her with it one day. Placing it on the soft swell of her belly and wriggling its soft form at her.

It was supposed to be a bird but its wings were too small and it had a big, soft body. Its beak only a piece of cloth. But it had big, dark eyes. Shining when turned into the light. It was cute. And yet...

In a way it almost looked sad.

Maybe because it couldn't fly...

A soft sigh. Trembling hands. Leaving the room, she closed its door slowly. Softly. As if afraid to disturb the wistful quiet lingering there.

Along the walls of the hallway stood several boxes. Filled with most of her belongings. She traced one hand along the top of one box.

She didn't want to leave. She hadn't wanted Rayne to leave.

But she had.

In a way they both had left. Two years ago.

Each taking a part of the other's soul with them...


- 22 -


Evelyn watched in silence as the tall woman took the last piece of furniture and with a gentle wink at Liv carried it down to the truck waiting on the street.

Watched that smile on Liv's lips as her eyes followed Rayne leave. The way those green eyes shone brightly. The soft blush creeping up her neck.

She swallowed and turned away.

Busying herself with turning on the vacuum cleaner. Shaking her head a little. Kicking herself for feeling the way she did.

The loud hum of the vacuum turned off any other sound and for the moment even deafened the little voice in her head. Allowing her a brief moment of silence.

She wasn't exactly sure what bothered her about Rayne and Liv. They very obviously were head over heels in love with each other. Hell, they just bought a house....so, they were sure about what they felt. Right?

Pausing, she brushed a few red locks out of her eyes and looked at her friend.

Liv was putting the last few things of her belongings into a box. The smile never leaving her face. She had let her hair grow a little again but it was still short enough to give her this cute, dishevelled - "I just got up" look.

Wearing a comfortable pair of faded jeans and T-shirt, that was a little oversized. Red brows wrinkled for a moment. Remembering that she had seen Rayne with the same shirt a little while ago. She looked more relaxed than in all the time Eph had known her.

Liv was a very open, friendly person. Always smiling and willing to listen when someone needed to talk. Tilting her fair head just a little. Those green eyes reaching somewhere deep inside you.

And yet, there was always a part that none of them had been able to reach. To touch...

And then Rayne had shown up. Walking right into this place. Closing the door from the inside.

Evelyn sighed and turned off the vacuum cleaner.

In a way she was jealous. Not of the love Rayne and Liv shared. Not that. She was happy for her friend. Had seen too often that sad, far away look in her eyes. Happy, that Liv had finally found what she had been looking for.

But it did hurt to see her leave to start a new part of her life.

They had been friends for almost six years. Had laughed together. Cried together. Had been angry at each other.

They had been close...

Her musings were interrupted as she heard Liv's gentle laughter. Turning, she saw her standing bent over the box. Holding a picture in her hand.

"Eph..." The small blonde waved her friend close and held the up the pictures she had found. It showed the two of them, dressed as pirates. Their faces set in grim expressions.

"The Fasching's party three years ago."

Liv chuckled. "Yeah....it was hilarious. Didn't Lorenz get so drunk we had to carry him all the way back here because there was no bus coming?"

Remembering that night, Evelyn laughed. "Oh god yes! And all the time he sang that godawful song....." Her voice got soft. "We had a lot of fun."

Those green eyes lifted and studied her thoughtfully. "Yes, we had." The blonde head tilted and a warm, small hand came to rest on her arm. "We still have fun."

The red-haired woman bit her lower lip and then released a deep breath. Avoiding Liv's questioning eyes.


Hoping her smile was sincere enough, Eph nodded. "Yes we do." Seeing from the look on Liv's face, that her friend didn't believe her.

She sighed again and sat down on the floor of the now empty room that Liv used to live in. "It's just..."

"Just what?"

Evelyn brushed her hands through her hair and shrugged. "I don't know.....it's just...." Gesturing at the room. "This means, it's really over. You know, the time the three of us had. For six years we lived together....studied together. And now, we all start our new lives.....I think...."

"But you knew it would happen, eventually."

"Of course." Eph picked at a bit of fibre from the carpet. "I mean, after all, I took the offer from Heidelberg. I'll be gone in two months, as well."


The soft answer made her smile. She knew this voice too well. Knew, that Liv knew that there was more. Willing to give her all the time she needed to talk about it.

But she didn't know if she wanted to talk about it.

They sat in silence for a moment. The soft sound of traffic drifting through the window. Faintly, laughter. Eph was able to make out the low voice of Rayne and Lorenz' hoarse chuckle.

"Do you resent my being with Rayne?"

The question took her off-guard and she turned surprised blue eyes at Liv. Who wasn't looking at her but out of the window. Her eyes reaching somewhere far beyond.

"No! God, of course I don't."

Liv kept her face turned away but then she slowly dropped her head. Taking a deep breath, intense green eyes focused on her.

"But you changed ever since Rayne and I have been together."

"I...." She wanted to say didn't but she closed her mouth. Knowing too well, that she had changed. Had separated herself more and more from Liv. Refusing offers to go see a movie or to just go out for a drink. Suddenly realising what that must have looked like to her friend.

"I don't resent you being with Rayne....I....." She moved a little. "What happened.....I was – I am happy for you, Liv! But suddenly things changed....even with Torben it had been different. When Rayne and you got together you hardly spent any time here. You moved in with her after six month......there was this glow about you......." The last part was barely above a whisper.

"You felt left out." Not a question.

Evelyn smiled sheepishly. "Yeah....in a way I did. I mean, there is this one part in me that said: Duh! Be happy for her. This is what she always wanted!.......but there was this other...... childish, foolish little voice too...."

She felt a little lighter as she heard Liv's soft laughter.

Reaching out, she took her hand. "You're my best friend. And for a little while I was worried I had lost that special friend."

"Oh, Eph." Liv moved and they hugged. Holding on to each other for a long, silent moment.

"I'm going to miss you, so much!" Liv's voice was a little hoarse. "Promise to call?"

"Hey....your phone's gonna ring so often, you'll disconnect it."

They laughed. Both feeling the strange heaviness that had been between them for almost a year now, disappear. Eph reached out with one hand and brushed a few stray locks of blonde hair to one side.

"Just be happy, Liv."

Got a brilliant smile as an answer. "I am.


- 23 -

Thunder crashed high above. Following a bright, blinding lightning. Bathing the night for the briefest of moments into eerie white light.

Rain pounded against the windows. Thick, heavy drops bursting against the glass....leaving nothing but vanishing traces along its surface. Blurring the view inside.

A strong wind whirled through the streets. Rattling roofs. Brushing through trees to take away the last of their leaves. Their colourful bodies tumbling to the ground in silent surrender. Sighing limbs following their descent.

Somewhere the echoing sound of wood snapping drifted through the air.

Another lightning. Eerie white light. Thunder.

"Great." The soft, sleepy voice broke through the quiet of a room. The soft light of a small lamp spending only enough light to make out a small frame standing near the window. Wrapped up in an oversized bathrobe.

Brushing a small hand through dishevelled, short blonde locks.

Liv sighed and turned around. Smiling as she watched her lover move around the kitchen in her sleeping shirt and shorts. Long dark locks pulled into a loose tail.

She took the few steps that would take her to Rayne and leaned against the broad back. Wrapping her arms around her waist, she hummed softly. Feeling the soft chuckle.

"Do you mind if I take the car, today?" Her question somewhat muffled against the soft fabric of the shirt.

"Mmh....what am I gonna get for that favour?" The low voice, she felt rumbling through Rayne where she leaned against her back, was teasing.

Smiling, she stepped around and leaned against the counter. Lifting one brow, she shrugged. "I don't know.....is there something you want?" Reaching out with one hand to trace a line across Rayne's chest.

And was suddenly eye to eye with deep blue eyes and the warm, sensual presence that was Rayne. "Well, if you ask me like that."

Soft lips touched hers in a slow, teasing exploration. Gentle hands that tugged at the belt of the robe. Searching for warm, soft skin.

Liv closed her eyes. Waiting for the contact.

Blinking surprised green eyes open when it didn't happen. Narrowing them at her smirking lover. "You're so lucky that I love you."

Rayne stopped smiling. Her face suddenly serious. "I know."

They looked at each other for a small eternity. Soft smiles on both their faces.

Then Liv took a deep breath and touched Rayne's cheek. Standing on tiptoes, she kissed her. A slow, gentle caress of soft lips. Not breaking the contact of their lips, she whispered: "Gonna wash my back?"

A low chuckle and she was suddenly airborne as Rayne lifted her into her arms. Carrying her off to their bathroom.


The storm had lessened by the time she reached Lübeck. Traffic had been surprisingly light and she hadn't lost as much time as she had feared.

Already she saw the clinic ahead of her and taking one last look to the right, she drove onto the parking lot. Looking for a free space.

Not difficult since it was 5:30 a.m. and no visitors crowded the lot, yet.

It would change in a few hours.

Locking her car, she walked into the building. The usual morning quiet greeting her. Mixed with the typical scent that always lingered in the air. Antiseptics. Linoleum. Coffee and fresh rolls....coming from the cafeteria in the back of the building.

Liv headed for the stairs to get to the floor the paediatric ward was located on.

She loved her job. Enjoyed her work with children. Despite the pain it sometimes brought. Still having trouble dealing with the death of a child during surgery or because of its illness. A paradox of her work.....bringing live into this world – and seeing it vanish.

Sometimes in the same second.

It was difficult. Weighing on her more than she should allow. So many nights she spent crying in Rayne's arms. Especially during the first few months.

But to see a new-born's shining eyes....a child's smile. Their cheerful laughter. High-pitched chuckles.

To know that she did make a difference in their lives....

Nothing could take that away from her.

She changed into her work clothes and walked down the quiet corridors. The lights were still on low. The eerie twilight throwing pale shadows along the floor.

There was no one in the nurses lounge and she frowned.

Knowing that Magda was on nightshift. Mmh. Turning right, she headed for the new-born station. Quietly entering the room the infants slept in.

Immediately surrounded by the soft scent of babies. And the deep breathing of children.

She smiled. Looking down at their tiny faces.

Tilting her head, she released a slow breath. A strange feeling warming her belly. Making her skin tingle.

Just then one of the babies woke up. It panicked cries echoing through the quiet.

"Ssh." Lifting the baby into her arm, she started rocking it. "Det är bra.....ssh, liten." She hummed softly. Feeling the baby start to calm down. Its tiny form stopping its struggling. Its head resting against her neck, it hiccuped. Wrapping one hand into her shirt.

She turned around – and met the smiling face of Magda.

The older woman had been standing in the door for some time. Watching the scene with gentle dark eyes.

"Hi, doc."

Liv smiled back at her. Gently putting the baby back into its crib. Watching it for another moment.

Magda walked closer. A question burning on her tongue but she bit her lower lip to keep it from escaping.

"Cute, isn't she?"

"Mmh." Liv traced on finger ever so lightly across the baby's cheek. Feeling impossibly soft skin.

The old nurse sighed silently and surrendered to her curiosity. "Have Rayne and you made any plans for having a baby, yet?"

The question took Liv off-guard and she blinked surprised green eyes at her friend. Moving her lips without being able to say anything.

She cleared her throat a little. Not quite sure what to answer.

Because, no, Rayne and she had never talked about babies. She didn't even know if Rayne would want a baby.

Green eyes returned to the once again peacefully sleeping baby. Its small chest moving with every deep breath.

Suddenly the question what a baby of Rayne and her would look like, popped into her mind. It took another minute before she realised that the image that had formed in her head, was an impossibility.

Although the thought of having a baby lingered.

She turned to Magda. Her smile not as cheerful as it had been. "No. We haven't made any plans."

The nurse was about to comment....but fell silent as she saw the look in those green eyes.

They left the nursery in silence. Magda kicking herself for asking....Liv thinking about a lot of things that hadn't entered her mind before.

The image of a dark-haired baby with gentle features....and with eyes a curious mixture of green and blue still alive in her mind.


The tall form dodged around another group of students as she headed for the front entry of the clinic. Smirking as she caught a few pieces of conversation. Something about a professor being a real hard-ass.

Remembering Liv and Lorenz talking about similar things close to their final exam. Also, reminded of the long nights Liv had spent studying. And the proud smile on her face as she passed the exam.

She was still smiling as she turned around a corner and ran into a small form.

Barely able to grab the arm of the small boy to keep him from falling.

"Hey....vorsichtig, kleiner Mann...."

Big grey eyes looked at her and then a small sheepish smile lit up his face. It was pale. Dark rings under his eyes. His thin form dressed in a cheerfully coloured pyjama.

"I am a pilot." The smile got broader and he puffed up his little chest.

Rayne chuckled. "I see."

His grey eyes studied her for a thoughtful moment. Then he cleared his throat a little and walked closer.

"Pick me up?"

The tall woman had to smile at his innocent forwardness. Looking around for a moment, she shrugged and lifted him up. Putting him on her shoulders. Grabbing his legs to keep him steady.

He laughed. A happy sound that echoed through the long hallway for a moment. "Make me fly."


Listening to the sounds he made to imitate a plane engine, she crossed the hallway in a slow run. While he shouted orders and talked to his invisible crew.

Rounding another corner, he suddenly fell silent. Rayne, who had been watching the ground to avoid stumbling, looked up.

And felt a slow blush warm her face. She cleared her throat but didn't avoid the amused green eyes looking at her and the little pilot on her shoulders.

Above her, she heard a sheepish: "Hi, Doctor Liv."

"Hi Florian.....everybody is looking for you."

The little boy seemed to be looking for a response but couldn't think of anything. Rayne sighed inwardly and then straightened a little. "We had a very important flight to take care of....Doctor Liv."

This time her lover had to bite her lower lip to keep from smiling. "I see....well, if you would land then and Captain Florian would go back to his room..."

Florian giggled as Rayne reached up and carefully put him down. Receiving a shy kiss on her cheek. Then he giggled again and raced down the corridor to disappear behind a door.

That left the two of them alone.....both their gazes following the little boy.

When they turned around and looked at each other, they didn't say a word. But between them passed an understanding, nevertheless.

Something that didn't need to be voiced.

Not yet, anyway....


To be concluded in Part 7

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