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....It's seems the less German I used the more Swedish showed up....J

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

A Final Note ... Part 2: Okay, this is it! The End....well.....of this story anyway. <smile Thank you for being so patient!!

A special Thank You to Lisa for the translations! Tack så mycket! J

Any comments are welcome: gritjahning@hotmail.com

svärmor - mother-in-law
g...r inte så här - don't do this
snälla, gå inte - please, don't go


Fragments - Part 8

by Grit Jahning


I don't know why I did the things I did
I don't know why I said the things I said

Pride's like knife, it can cut deep inside

Words are like weapons they can hurt sometimes

I didn't really mean to hurt you

I didn't want to see you go

I know I made you cry

But baby

<chorus If I could turn back time
If I could find a way

I'd take back those words that hurt you

And you'd stay

If I could reach the stars

I'd give them all to you

Then you'd love me

Love me loke you used to do

If I could turn back time

My world has shattered
I was torn apart

Like someone took a knife

And drove it dee in my heart

When you walked out that door

I swore I didn't care

But I lost everything, darling, then and there

Too strong to tell you I was sorry

Too proud to tell you I was wrong

I know that I was blind

And darling

<chorus If I could turn back time
If I could find a way

I'd take back those words that hurt you

And you'd stay

If I could reach the stars

I'd give them all to you

Then you'd love me

Love me loke you used to do

If I could turn back time

I didn't really mean to hurt you
I didn't want o see you go

I know I made you cry

But oh, if I could turn back time

*"If I could turn back time" written by Diane Warren


- 29 -


Steps a hollow sound on worn linoleum.

Walls bare of any decoration and a sleepy eggshell colour highlighted by soft light from overhead. Soft enough to reduce the shadow of a tall form to a pale grey.

The air was filled with the intense scent of antiseptics and cleaning utilities. And very faintly coffee. From somewhere voices were a carpet of noise that drifted through the long, wide hallway. Mixed with the clutter of dishes. And laughter.

Other people moved past the form that stood next to a window. Pieces of conversations drifting past her as pale eyes starred unseeing into the backyard of the hospital.

Her back facing a door that was marked as room 9.

A trembling hand lifted to brush through long dark locks. Brushing across hurting eyes. Wetness tickling its fingertips.

A shaky breath misted the window for a brief moment and Rayne stretched her tall frame. Her lower back aching. She had been sitting next to Liv's bed for the last ten hours and her muscles were protesting the abuse. Not that she cared.

Because it was nothing compared to the pain that had settled inside.

That had crumbled her soul into million little pieces.....piercing her heart with every breath.

With every look into pained green eyes.

With every look that traced dark bruises and small cuts. Every look at the small form of her lover curled into a tight ball. Arms wrapped around her stomach...

Large hands curled around the window sill.

Her mind still repeating the words of the doctor who had approached her after she had arrived at the clinic. At first he had been uncertain how to tell her....she had seen it in the way he avoided looking at her.

But then his grey eyes had focused on her.

"We were able to stabilise her. She lost a lot of blood....and....." She had wanted to say something. Ask the question but her throat had been painfully try and her mind still refused to accept what had happened. "We couldn't save the baby. I'm sorry."

How can your world be shattered within one night?

Pale blue eyes closed and Rayne took a deep breath. Her chest aching from unshed tears.

Liv hadn't been awake when she had arrived earlier. It had given her the time to compose herself, again. To push down the pain she felt inside.

Slowly the tall frame turned. For a moment idly watching the people moving past her. Nurses. Patients in bathrobes. Visitors.

Then pale eyes strayed to the door of the room Liv slept in.

Straightening, she took the few steps towards it. Her fingers closing around the handle almost painfully tight. Opening it slowly, she stepped inside.

And was met by hurting green eyes.


Everything hurt.

Her body.

Her mind.

Her soul.

The small form on the narrow bed shifted. She had her eyes still closed and for a moment just listened. Faint sounds of traffic drifted through the window. Muffled sounds of voices. Birds somewhere in the trees she knew stood in front of the window.

A hesitant breath.

Then green eyes blinked open. For the briefest of moments blinded by the light....then adjusting. Taking in the room. It was small...only two other, at the moment empty beds that stood against the opposite wall. A table and four chairs in one corner underneath the window. A chair standing next to each bed.

Hers had been moved. A folded up sweatshirt still laying across its back.

She remembered the faint scraping sound its legs had made on the linoleum. Remembered the hint of a familiar scent that had invaded her senses. Telling her that she was safe. Hurting but safe.

And not alone...

The hesitant touch of warm hands on hers. A low, trembling voice talking to her.


It had been all that had made her hold on. Fight the darkness that had caressed her mind. Had tempted her with the promises of no pain.

She couldn't let go. She couldn't leave Rayne.

They had lost so much already they couldn't lose each other.

Against her will, her hands strayed to her belly. Hesitantly touching the last traces of.....She turned and buried her face into her pillow. Silent sobs shaking her body but she didn't care. At least the physical pain drowned out the hurt inside.

The soft scrap of the door. Footsteps and the instant recognition of Rayne entering. She swallowed and turned a little. Slowly to avoid more pain....hesitantly because she didn't know what she would see...

Afraid of what she might see.


Rayne looked tired. Dark shadows underneath her eyes.....that met hers for a brief moment to drop to the floor again. It took another moment but then Rayne moved and sat down next to her bed.

Reaching out to take her hand. Tracing along her fingers in an almost unconscious caress. Then the dark head lifted and she drowned in pale blue depths.

Red lips trying to form words. Moving silently for a moment. Then: "....I don't know what to do...." A mere whisper that barely stirred the air. She almost didn't catch it....not sure if it was addressed to her.

Lifting her hand, she caressed soft skin. Watching pale eyes close. "...stanna hos mig..." It wasn't a question and yet it carried a hesitant tone...

Outside suddenly sirens burst through the quiet. Anxious voices. Doors closing. Shouts.

Rayne turned her head. Seeing fluffy white clouds lazily drift across a sky almost as pale as her eyes.

Be here for me.

Always, her heart answered. Have you?, her mind asked. Turning back to Liv, she silently leaned forward to rest her head against the warm curve of Liv's hip. Feeling gentle fingers brush through her hair.

And again silence settled between them.

And for the first time since they knew each other it felt wrong...


- 30 -

The sun hit the windshield for a brief moment. Blinding him as he turned off the engine. The cheerful voice of a reporter cut off in mid-sentence.

The blond man closed his eyes and took a long, deep breath.

"Okay....here we go." Matthias stepped out of the car and locked the door. The day had started out with a beautiful morning and it seemed that it was turning into a beautiful day, as well. The sky was a bright blue with only a few translucent layers of clouds. The sun a cheery spot of light that already warmed his back as he stood on the parking lot taking in his surroundings.

The lot was located at the very end of the campus....behind it the buildings that housed the library, the Mensa, and the lecture halls for the first semesters. The clinic was located in the middle of the campus and that's where he was heading. Smiling at the sight of students launching on the lawns.....reading, talking...or just enjoying the sun. Asleep probably.

Walking up the narrow path that led to the main entry, he spotted them immediately. He actually paused just watching them for a moment.

He sometimes wondered if they had any idea of how in tune with each other they were.

It was in the way they moved together....always seemed to know what the other was about to say. They might not finish each other's sentences but sometimes it seemed as if they could...

The blond head tilted.

It had been like this pretty much from the beginning.

He remembered the last weekend before the opening party of the bar when they had asked everyone from the staff to help to get the main room set up. Even then there had been something between Rayne and Liv. They had worked side by side....no movement interfering with the other's and yet it had seemed.....He hadn't words to describe it. It had amazed him back then...and it amazed him now.

But now...watching them standing in front of the clinic.

It was in their faces.

Something was missing.

Although they stood close to each other....probably even touching...he couldn't be sure from his point of view....it seemed as if something stood right with them. Between them. A gulf that was obvious even to him.

He wondered what it must feel like to actually be on one of the two sides of that gulf.

He swallowed.

His mind remembering the night Rayne had called him. At first he had thought it had been some freak calling in the middle of the night because nobody had answered when he had picked up the phone.

Then he had heard a trembling breath.

And then Rayne's voice.

She hadn't had said much...Liv's in the clinic...an accident....she told him about the baby after he had arrived at the clinic.

The baby.

It had hurt. A lot. More than he had expected.....and yet he couldn't even begin to imagine what it must have been like for Rayne and Liv. They had so wanted that baby.

A hand lifted and brushed through short blond hair.

He needed to get a grip...he wouldn't be of any help to them if he fell apart now.

His tall frame straightened. It took some effort but he even managed a light smile by the time he reached them.

Rayne tilted her dark head at him....Liv moved and hugged him tightly for a moment. He had visited her every day at the clinic and although they hadn't talked much, he knew that she had appreciated his presence.

Releasing her, he pointed at the bag that stood next to Rayne.

"That's all?"

Another silent nod.

"Okay then....let's get you home, huh?"


His blue eyes strayed to the rear mirror.

Liv sat cuddled in one corner of the backseat. Her head resting against the back....her eyes watching whatever she saw outside.

He doubted that she really noticed anything they passed.

Rayne sat next to her. Just as silent....they hands meeting and entwined in the middle of the backseat.

He turned forward again. Worrying his lower lip....for the first time knowing them, tempted to fill the silence with something...anything.

They hadn't exchanged one word since they had left the parking lot and the thirty minute drive to Pl...n seemed to last forever. It bothered him. Since it was so unusual for the both of them and although Rayne wasn't much of a talker there was always something Liv and she talked about. Even if they were only teasing each other.

By now the sun had risen to its highest point and he felt the heat pounding on his car. Turning on the air conditioning, he sighed as within seconds cool air hit his skin.

"That's better, huh?"

"Mmh." Rayne's low voice.

As he looked into the mirror again he met green eyes that caught his' for a brief moment and a slight smile played around pink lips. "Thanks, Matti." A soft, tired whisper.

He smiled back. Although he wasn't sure how convincing it really was.

Liv turned back to the window. Shifting a little....and unconsciously the large hand holding hers tightened. The pale head turned and they looked at each other.

Amazing how far away someone can be...sitting next to you.

Matthias sighed again and to fill the silent car with at least some kind of noise, he turned on the radio.

It took another ten minutes and then he turned off the engine as their drove into the driveway of the small house. They sat in the car for another silent moment.

"I get the bag."

Merely keeping himself from jumping out of the car, Matthias walked around it and lifted the small bag from the trunk. Hearing the soft sounds of doors closing and then the slow crunching of footsteps.

He handed the bag to Rayne. Then they stood in front of each other in awkward silence. He didn't know what he had expected....maybe that they would invite him to stay. Or something.

"Great...okay...then," He waved his hands. "I think, I'll be going. You take care."

Liv hugged him again. And he even got a real smile this time as she ruffled his hair in a playful gesture.

As he turned to his friend she looked at him for a long moment and then hugged him, too. Her voice a low whisper brushing his ear. "Thank you for being here for us."

He swallowed. Not sure what to say. Watching them as they turned to head to the house. Not able to stop the question worrying his mind.

"Are you going to be okay?"

They turned simultaneously. Pale blue and green eyes looking at him for a long, silent moment. "Yes..." they said in unison.

It would have been funny hadn't it been so painful to look at. Two weeks ago they would have laughed together - today they avoided looking at each other...

An image from the clinic rushed through his mind.....he had entered the room, quietly, not sure if Liv would be awake.

She hadn't been. Curled on her side....her face even in sleep holding an expression of anguish. And Rayne had sat next to the bed. Her hands wrapped around Liv's much smaller one she had sat there....just looking at the small form. She hadn't heard him enter and so there were no walls, no masks to hide behind - just a pain that was so obvious to him, it had actually hurt looking at her.

And now looking at them....

He wanted to ask if he could stay for a moment. Just to make sure they really were okay but he hesitated. Then he took a deep breath and waved at them again and got back in the car.

And even as he rounded the corner at the end of the street, he could see that they still hadn't moved.


- 31 -

The soft crackling of electricity. A familiar voice sounding strangely tinny through the phone.

"...and how are you doing?" Worry very obvious in the warm voice.

A small silence. A sigh....echoing as a wave of electric rustle through the line. "Better."

"Mmh." Doubt. Unspoken questions.

"I am, Rose....it's been....difficult, yes...but it is getting better."


Again silence. Longer this time. Then: "....I don't know....." Soft. Hesitant. Tears obvious in the soft trembling.


"She won't talk to me about...." A trembling breath. "...the baby....and what she feels....I....I don't get through to her..."

"Yes, she can be stubborn.....give her some time."

"Time?" It wasn't really a question. Just a breathless whisper.

"She's like her father in that regard. He forever regretted that he had never told her how much he loved her....how proud he had been of her. But he nevertheless felt it...it was inside....it just needed time to be voiced."


Then Rose's voice got urgent. "Don't give up, honey!"

Still silence. Shaky breaths. Then: "I hurt....and I do know that she hurts as much....but she won't reach out....and I....every time I try to reach out she pulls away. It's like......." Liv didn't finish the sentence. For a moment there was only the sound of breathing. "I'm afraid she blames me." A bare whisper.

"Liv! Don't!....Don't even go there!! You know her better than to even think that!"

Tears. Hiccuped breaths. "I know...it's just....it...hurts. She...she hasn't touched me since..." Fading into a whisper.

"Honey...sshh....now, ssh......cry, I am here..." A long time with only tears and softly spoken words of comfort. "....Do you want me to come stay with you for a while?"

A deep breath. "I'd love to have you here but....this is something we need to...need to work out ourselves." Soft. Exhausted.

"But you know where you find me if you need my help. She isn't too old for her mum to talk some sense into her." The smile more than obvious in the warm voice.

"I know, svärmor." Gentle laughter as Rose recognised the nickname Liv used for her.

Then silence again.

"Okay....I need to be going here in a minute....but Liv, please...don't give up!"

"I won't. I love her."

"And she loves you, honey!"

"...I know..." A soft whisper.

Goodbye's followed by the hollow <click of the phone being put down. A still form sitting in a room slowly swallowed by darkness as the sun descended behind the dark silhouettes of the town.


The setting sun bathed the garden in a deep glowing orange. Ochre-coloured shadows lazily crawling along the rough bark of the trees lining the fence of the backyard. Tickling sleepy leaves...stirring them for a brief moment.

Then seagulls broke through the quiet of the early evening. Their shrill voices an eerie echo drifting through the warm air.

Pale eyes watched them for a moment. A tall dark form leaning against a doorframe. Strangely lost in the settling darkness....and yet blending into it. Barely noticeable against the dark outlines of the house.

A soft sigh.

Then the dark form moved and slowly closed the door to the backyard. Turning, she paused and listened for a moment.

Hearing Liv's voice somewhere in the living room.

She was about to turn her steps there as she paused yet again. Torn between crawling into her lover's lap to hide forever. Sheltered by the warmth and love she knew waited there - and running away as fast as she could.

There was this part inside her that so desperately needed to reach out. That needed nothing but the small form to hold onto. Nothing but beautiful green eyes to drown in.

And the other part that told her again and again that she had failed. Failed in keeping Liv safe. Failed in doing it right this time...

Pale blue eyes closed. "...Liv..." A whisper that barely stirred the air around her.

She turned to the stairs and went upstairs into their bedroom. Not bothering to turn on the light as she entered. She stood in the dark for a long time. Lost in her thoughts and the hurt that rushed through her...

A soft sigh as she started to unbutton her shirt. It slipped off her shoulders with a soft rustling sound. Chilly air hitting her upper body ---

--- that was suddenly replaced by a warm frame that settled against her back. Her skin immediately alive with tickling sensations.

She felt small hands come to rest against her lower back. Not moving but softly...hesitantly touching her skin in a light caress. Fingertips dancing along her back. For a moment drifting upwards to trace the small tattoo on her shoulder blade.

Lingering on it for a small eternity.

Then Liv's forehead touched the spot just between her shoulders.

And a warm sigh brushed down her spine.

She swallowed.

She wanted to turn....wanted to say something....anything....the right thing....but then she felt trembling lips on her back. Touching her skin for the briefest of touches and the warmth disappeared. Soft footsteps announcing that Liv had moved into the bathroom. Not saying a word.

Pale eyes closed.

Goosebumps racing along her skin that weren't caused by the chill settling in the room but by the cold she felt settling inside...


The sky was a velvet black covered by thin layers of grey that moved across it slowly. Without haste. Wrapping themselves around the bright circle of white that peeked through them, now and then.

Silvery light hitting a window. Dancing along it in sparkling highlights...to fall into the dark room. A slim beam of light crawled across the carpet up on a bed. Caressing along two forms resting there.

They lay facing each other....only a breath separating them.

Then one of the forms moved. Pale eyebrows wrinkling as pink lips moved with silent words. A small frame starting to shift restlessly. Soft sounds of distress stirring the quiet air.


Flashing. Hurting her eyes.

Shrill cries an eerie sound that seemed to echo through her mind. Was that her voice?

And then the pain came...

Waves of piercing pain racing through every fibre of her body. She tried to move...shield herself. The baby...

The baby.

Again cries. Hoarse this time. Her voice? Her fingertips touching liquid warmth. Her hands raising in slow motion as her eyes took in the deep red tracing down her fingers. Her eyes dropped...

She had no voice left as she looked down at her belly - torn open. A mass of blood and flesh and from within tiny hands reaching for her ---

--- Liv jerked awake....barely able to suppress a cry. Breathing hard, she looked around almost frantically...trying to get her bearings.

Then a low voice.


A small lamp on the nightstand was turned on and their bedroom bathed in a warm, yellow glow. Turning worried pale eyes into curious depth of deep blue.

She was shivering....from the cold of the room and the memory of the dream. Saw Rayne move to reach out to her.

But she stopped.

For a moment they simply looked at each other.

Close enough to touch...close enough to feel each other's breath as a tickling caress - and yet so far apart...

She wanted to move. Wanted nothing more than to crawl into Rayne's embrace. Drowning in warmth. Where there was nothing but a slow, rhythmic heartbeat. Deep breathing. And that scent that was so much a part of Rayne. But something held her back.

It was the same that had kept Rayne from reaching out.

The same that caused the heavy, dark silence between them...

A deep breath and she slowly got up. Trembling. "I'm fine....I just need something to drink." Her footsteps muted sounds on the carpet.

Her movements followed by hurting blue eyes. "Liv....I...."

She stopped and turned around. Green eyes tracing the outlines of the still, dark form on the bed. Pale eyes spots of the light on a handsome face drowning in shadows. And she still felt this pull....

This amazing need to be close to Rayne.

It had been there from the moment they had met. That Saturday morning lifetimes ago...Maybe it had been there even before that day.

Without conscious thought she took the few steps back to the edge of the bed and sat down. Slowly, hesitantly. And reached out one hand. Brushing dishevelled dark bangs to one side. Tracing along dark brows.

"...I..." Green eyes disappearing behind closing lids. A trembling breath. "I'm fine, Rayne....go back to sleep." A soft voice nothing but a whisper. With that she got up and left their bedroom.

Downstairs she curled into one of the armchairs in the living room. Not caring to cover her shivering form since it wasn't the chilly air that had caused it. Only trying to keep her sobs silent.

She drifted off to sleep not knowing how much time had passed.

Never noticing the tall form at the doorframe. Lost and hurting...


- 32 -

"Karo....noch einen!"

The low voice slurred the already accented German and doubtful brown eyes looked at a tall from sitting at the bar. Hunched over a glass of beer.

Karoline bit her lower lip and looked around for Matthias.

Rayne had shown up three hours ago and had been drinking ever since. The young waitress wasn't sure what she should do. Any attempts to talk her boss into a cup of coffee...even the offer to call a cab had been met by icy blue eyes and a gruff voice telling her to mind her own business.

She had even tried calling Liv but nobody had picked up the phone.

Sighing, she took the now empty glass and taking a new one, put it and another bottle of beer in front of her boss. "Um...maybe....don't you think that's enough?" Although she had meant to sound certain, her voice shook a little as pale blue eyes raised to meet hers.

"Enough?" The low voice sounded hoarse - as if Rayne had been screaming for a long time... "No. I still feel the pain, so it's not enough." Her pales eyes suddenly turned to a place way beyond the bar. "Never enough..." A hoarse whisper.

Karoline swallowed. Not sure what to say. Or if there was even anything to say. Watching Rayne take a deep swallow, she turned and headed to the office. Hoping to find Matthias there.

And missed the sight of a tall brunette walking up to the tall form.

"Hi Ray."


Matthias scowled at the screen of the computer on his desk and sighed. He had been sitting at the letter for some time now and just couldn't get it right. Usually it was Liv who did this sort of thing but he hadn't wanted to bother her with that.

It had been four months since the accident and although it seemed as if things would slowly get back to normal again...he still worried about her.


Both had pulled back from him. Or any of their friends. He had talked to Lorenz a few days ago and he had told him that Liv had called him only once since the accident. And even then she wouldn't talk about how she felt.

His blue eyes turned to the window. Watching the wind chase puffy clouds across the sky. The sudden knock on the door actually made him jump and he turned his scowl at the hesitantly entering figure.


Karoline bit her lower lip and took another step into the small room. "I....um...it's about Rayne."

Matthias got up at once. "What about her?"

The young woman seemed very uneasy and sighed. "She's been drinking for some time now and I think she should go home but...."

The tall man nodded. This was what Ray had been doing for almost two weeks now. Showing up at the bar - just to get drunk. Never too drunk, though. Always somehow knowing when to stop but he had noticed that it got more difficult for her.

The first night he had called Liv.

He hadn't known what he had expected. Maybe that she would yell at her....or something....but she had walked in silently. Coming to a halt next to Ray - and had just looked at her.

Just looked at her...

He had always known that Liv didn't need to talk. Anything you wanted to know you could see in her eyes. This curious mixture of green and blue that with the right light showed hints of grey. You could fall in love with her just by looking into her eyes.

They had left in silence. Not a word had been spoken.

But they hadn't touched either...


Karoline's voice brought him back from his musings and he wrinkled his brows a little. Trying to get the image out of his mind.

"Okay...I talk to her."

"Um..." The young woman bit her lower lip. "Should I call...?"

The blond man released a slow breath. Already heading out of the office, he shook his head. "No....no, if necessary I'll drive her home."

They walked into the main area of the bar.

It was a busy night. All the tables lining the walls were occupied by groups of four or couples. The small space cleared for dancing was packed with bodies moving to the music blasting from the loudspeakers. It was Wednesday. The band only played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The air was filled with laughter and the low carpet of noise woven by many different voices. The scent of smoke and candles mixed with numerous perfumes drifted towards them as they entered.

"That bitch."

Matthias blinked and turned to Karoline. Who only pointed at something at the bar. He turned this way and his eyes turned cold.

Susie was standing next to Ray. Stood close to his friend. Very close. Dressed in a tight tank top and jeans that left nothing to the imagination. One hand lifted to come to rest on Ray's shoulder. Playing with a stray dark lock.

He couldn't hear what was said - but he didn't like the expression on Ray's face.


"All by yourself tonight, Ray?"

Susie took another step closer and smiled sweetly into pale blue eyes that seemed a little unfocused.

Rayne blinked. Waves of an overwhelmingly sweet perfume drifting her way. Tickling her nose. She didn't like it.

She liked the one Liv used. It always reminded her of a warm summer day. And running through a field of corn. A small smile played around her lips. Which Susie misunderstood as she rested her hand on Rayne's shoulder. Tugging at a dark lock.

Pointing at the glass of beer, she said: "Doesn't look like a lot of fun." One finger slowly traced along a broad shoulder. To graze her jaw. "I know a place where we could have a lot more fun."

The dark head tilted. For the first time pale eyes took in the tall form standing so close. Tall? That was wrong. Liv wasn't this tall. A gentle smile. Liv was just the right size to fit.

In her arms.




Dark brows wrinkled. Her head felt fuzzy. Another wave of the perfume and she actually had to turn away a little.

"It's all I want, Ray....a bit of fun. Mmh? What do you say? Nobody has to know." The voice sounded strangely blurred even as she felt fingertips dance along her thigh.

Pale blue eyes looked up again. Seeing nothing but gentle features. Flushed. Deep green eyes. Trembling breaths touching her lips....

Susie swallowed as she watched pale eyes darken. She almost leaned in to kiss Rayne as she felt a hand on her shoulder.

"You don't want to do this."

Pulling free from the firm grip, Susie turned and ran straight into another pair of blue eyes. Only these looked angry. Very angry. She smirked and took a step away. "No harm done, Matthias."

His jaw moved as he stepped closer. "Get out of here. Now." His voice was low but forced. As if he was trying very hard not to yell.

The tall brunette shrugged. The fake smile in place again she winked at Rayne and left.

Karoline had wisely chosen to leave, as well and was just disappearing behind the counter as Matthias took the glass from Rayne. "You had enough."

His friend froze and turned to him. "I decide when I have enough." Her voice low and cold. But very obviously sounding drunk.

"When is enough, Ray?"

Unfocused blue eyes looked at him as she was trying to come up with something to say. Then her voice became soft. Barely above a whisper. "She never calls me Ray. D'you know that?....Never Ray...."

Since talking in German seemed to be difficult, she had started speaking in English and it took him a moment to decipher what she had said.

"Ray...c'mon. I take you home." She wanted to refuse. He could see it in the way her face hardened but then she slowly got up. Holding on to the counter for a moment.

"I can drive."

He actually had to laugh at that. "Right. But you won't."

They somehow made it out of the bar and to her car without any further incidents and she fumbled with her keys. The soft jingling echoing through the quiet street. "I'm fine."

"No you're not, Ray."

Pulling away from him, she leaned against the car. Her face angry. "Don't tell me what I am or what I am not.....I said I'm fine!"

"You're drunk."


Now he was getting angry himself and for the first time since they knew each other he wanted to hit her. Partly it was out of frustration that he couldn't reach her. Didn't get through to her since the accident. "Do you want to get yourself killed? Is that it?...." He took a step closer. "That's what you want?.....You're a coward, Ray!"

She staggered forward. Her eyes still unfocused but cold and angry. "You have no idea how I feel....don't you dare...."

"What, Ray?.....You need to get a grip! Stop pitying yourself! You are alive....Liv is alive....don't throw away the best thing that has ever happened to you!"

He didn't even see it coming. But it nearly knocked him down. The side of his face prickling where her fist had hit him.

She blinked at him for a long silent moment.

There were the sounds of the boats fastened to the walls of the canal. The soft creaks of ropes. Faint noise of traffic. Laughter and from somewhere music.

And then she seemed to loose in height. Her shoulders dropped and brushing trembling hands through dishevelled dark locks, she swallowed.

"It was my fault." A low, pained whisper.


"I should have....I shouldn't have...let her go alone that night.....I...."

"Ray...it wasn't your fault." He tried to reach out to her but she pulled away.

Throwing the keys at him, she leaned back against the car. "Call me a taxi." Defeated. Tired.

"I drive you....just get in."

"No....Call me a taxi."

He considered to argue with her but then he shrugged. In this state there was no sense in arguing with her. Whatever crazy idea she had got in her head....discussing it while she was drunk wouldn't do any good.

Getting his cell phone, he called a cab. Watching as Rayne closed her eyes and wrapped her arms tightly around herself.


It tilted its head at her.

Ears way too large for the small head moving back and forth. The tip of a tail twisting nervously. A hesitant step. Then another.

Almost close enough to touch.

She could almost feel the soft tickle of its whiskers. But then the cat froze. Ears moving again and it shied to one side. And then rushed off.

Pale green eyes watching as the small, dark silhouette disappeared underneath the fence.

Slowly, she got up again. Her lower back still giving her some trouble if she stayed in one position for too long.

Tilting back her head, she traced the clear black velvet above her. Twinkling spots smiling down at her. "....a rabbit...." A sad whisper.

It was well past two a.m. but she couldn't sleep. Wouldn't be able to sleep until she heard the sound of the door telling her that Rayne had come home. Finally.

A deep breath.

It had been getting worse in the last two weeks. They hardly talked anymore....a painful awkwardness had settled between them and she hurt so much. Not being able to just walk up to Rayne and hug her - not knowing if it would be welcome was even worse.

Last night she had woken up to find Rayne sitting next to the bed. Looking at her. And for this brief moment somewhere between wake and sleep it had felt like a lifetime ago when everything had been right between them.

And she had smiled.

Until she had seen the tears.

She had never seen Rayne cry before. And she had felt so utterly helpless. "Rayne...please....talk to me..."

The dark head had dropped and two hands, so cold, had taken hold of one of her hands. Holding on to it with almost desperate strength. And then she had drowned in pale eyes.

"Why do you stay with me?" Hoarse. Barely audible.

At first she had no idea what Rayne had meant. It actually had taken her a moment to understand and she had shook her head. "God Rayne.....I love you." She had sat up. Moving closer to the trembling form so close....and yet so far away. "I don't want to lose you."

More tears. Silent. Had watched Rayne swallow and again those blue eyes dropped. Cold fingers caressing her hand in an unconscious touch. Tracing a fine scar. Red lips moving with silent words.

And then Rayne had let go of her hand. And had left the bedroom.

A chilly breeze brushed past her and Liv felt shivers chase themselves down her back. Wrapping her arms around herself, she closed her eyes. Not moving even as she heard a car drive up to the house.


Moving hurt.

Rayne slowly got out of the taxi and searched her pockets for the keys. Groaning as she remembered that she had given them to Matthias. Dark brows wrinkled. Had she hit him?

Thinking hurt, too.

She stood in front of the house. Swaying unsteadily as she noticed a light being turned on in the living room. A beam of yellow as the door opened. And a dark form standing inside. She swallowed.

Why was Liv doing this? She should have left long ago. She deserved so much more than.....A heavy sigh. More than she herself could ever give her.

Walking past the silent form, she didn't meet Liv's eyes. Knowing that she smelled of beer and smoke. Disgusted at herself.

"Do you....would you like a cup of coffee?" The voice was soft. But distant without the warmth that it usually held. Tired, somehow.

Rayne tried to say something but her throat felt dry and even swallowing hurt. She looked up and right into pale green. Dark lines underneath....and to the right, just grazing the right temple a faint scar. Another reminder of the accident.

Pale eyes closed. This was getting too much.


Suddenly her senses were alive with the scent that was Liv. She actually felt the warmth of the smaller frame standing next to her.

It felt like dying as a small hand touched her face.


She pulled away. Stumbling back against the wall....trying to get away although every part of her body, heart....soul told her to stop. But she couldn't. Because.....because......


Liv hurt because of her. They lost the baby because of her.....it....if she had....she should have.....

Living hurt.

She curled into a tight ball deep inside as she straightened as much as she could without losing her balance. Turning pale eyes to Liv, her voice was hoarse and unsteady as she said: "Did you really want the baby?" The words were slurred but still understandable.

A soft gasp. The small form in front of her looking at her in shock. Pink lips trying to form words.

Stealing herself against the pain she knew she was causing Liv, she pretended a nonchalance she most certainly wasn't feeling. Burying her hands in her pockets, she leaned against the wall. "Have you seen Torben lately?" Even managed a saucy smile.

She might as well have hit her. Saw it in the way those green eyes widened. And the light inside shattered. Saw it in the way Liv actually took a step away from her.

"...g...r inte så här..." A pained whisper.

Rayne turned away. Not able to stand the look in those eyes. Not able to...She slowly walked towards the door. Her thoughts in turmoil. She knew this was wrong....knew that she was hurting Liv even more but...

If Liv hated her, it would be easier for her to start again. To be happy again. Wouldn't it?

Wouldn't it?

The door handle felt cold against the skin of her hand. It was cold inside....her soul felt numb as did her mind.

"...snälla, gå inte..." A trembling breath. "...Rayne..."

She didn't even turn around. And the soft click as the door closed behind her seemed to echo noisily through the night. Closely followed by the sound of her soul crumbling into pieces...


- 33 -


"She just left?"

Corinna sat up and turned on the light. Having to close her eyes for a moment against the bright light. Blinking them open again, she studied Matthias who sat still and silent next to her. "Just like that?"

A silent breath moved his chest and he turned a little to look at her. His blue eyes tired. "It's not that easy. She..."

"She what?...." Corinna shook her head. "Liv needed her so much and she just walked away! I can't believe she did that....didn't she understand that..."

His hand closing on hers interrupted her and she fell silent. His fingers played with hers, making her skin tickle where he touched it. The light hit his short blond hair; dishevelled from running his hands through it again and again while he had talked. A slow breath and his blue eyes blinked at her. "She felt guilty."

Dark brows wrinkled. This just didn't make sense. "What for?"

"Ray felt that if she had driven the car that night she might have been able to prevent the accident. She blamed herself for the death of the baby and...it killed her. She didn't want to talk about any of it....not with me nor Liv. Especially not Liv. I think, she expected her to hate her...yell at her...leave her. She didn't understand how Liv could still love her."

Light brown eyes looked at him. He could see that Corinna had problems understanding this. Not that he could blame her. It hadn't made a lot of sense two years ago...why should it be any easier now?

"But..." A frustrated sigh as Corinna tried to understand everything he had told her. "Why leave?...couldn't they try to work through it? Liv obviously loved her still. She most certainly didn't blame her for anything. Did she?"

His blond head tilted to the side. Pale brows wrinkling as he thought. "No. No, she didn't. At first I had thought that's what happened between them. To see how they drifted apart....." A deep breath. "It was awful....but no, Liv didn't blame her. I think..." He fell silent as something seemed to make click in his head. Straightening a little, he bit his lower lip. "Ray wouldn't allow herself to be loved by Liv."

The expression on Corinna's face was almost comical in its confusion and he actually had to smile. His hand reaching up to caress her cheek.

"Don't you see? She had got the idea in her head that everything was her fault....and to her the best thing to do was to leave. To give Liv the chance to start all over again. She wouldn't allow herself to believe in a second chance."

"No matter what Liv felt?"

"I guess, she thought it was for the best for Liv."

Corinna sighed and brushed a few stray locks to the side. "But they couldn't let go, could they?...I mean, they're still here. Ray gave her a present that obviously meant a lot. I watched Liv's face as she saw the necklace."

"Of course they couldn't let go. They love each other!...And I tried to talk to Ray again and again. Trying to talk some sense in that thick head of hers but she wouldn't listen....She honestly believed that it was for the best. But..." He turned to the window. The dark of the night slowly, ever so slowly dissolving into a pale grey. "You don't always get a second chance. And Liv was really certain about leaving Germany. This might be Ray's last chance to take the first step."

"Would she really leave?"

Matthias dropped his head. Looking down at the small hand resting on his chest. Touching his skin in a light caress. He remembered the look in those green eyes as Liv had told him that she had signed a contract to start working in a hospital back in Sweden. Yes, she would leave...if only to escape the pain she was still feeling.

But he also knew that it would destroy them.

Again, he turned to the window. Felt Corinna move against him and without conscious thought wrapped his arms around her.

Outside the pale grey of a new morning was broken here and there by slim beams of pink. Hinting at the sun that was slowly working its way past the lingering darkness. Bathing the snow that covered the city in an innocent layer of pink.



She somehow ended up at the beach.

Where there was no sound but waves crashing onshore and from somewhere far away the hoarse cry of a ship. And a playful breeze tugging at long, dark locks.

Pale eyes looked around for a long silent moment and then she noticed the narrow path leading up to a small clearing overlooking the beach and the sea. Knew that she could make out the lighthouse from there.

And she turned this way. Not thinking about it as her feet took her upwards to the outlines of old, massive trees.

Up here everything seemed so insignificant. There was only the whispering sound of the sea. Sighing limbs. The soft crunching of her feet on small rocks and twigs.

Wrapping her arms around herself, Rayne took a deep breath of salty air. Chilly as it burned down her throat.

Liv had showed her this place.

One day she had picked her up at the bar and had told her to close her eyes. Agreeing with a amused smirk, she had leaned back in the car and let Liv drive her to where ever. It had taken them about half an hour and then she had tasted salt on her lips and heard the distinctive sound of the sea. And the sounds of a busy beach. Children's happy giggles. Splashing water. Music. The scent of Bratwurst roasting.

Had heard the gentle laughter as Liv had seen her brows wrinkle in an unconscious frown. Well, she hadn't expected a day at a crowded beach...mmh, but if it meant she would get to see a certain blonde in a two piece bathing suit....

"Stop smirking like that." A teasing whisper tickling her ear.

She had shrugged and allowed herself to be led away from the car. Had heard Liv get something from the trunk and then they had walked up some rocky path. Leaving most of the noise from the beach behind them as they reached a place surprisingly quiet.

And she had felt gentle fingers touch her eyelids. Blinking them open, she looked down into smiling green. Gentle features tanned from the sun. Not as dark as her own skin, though. More of a light brown-golden tone.

All that stopped mattering as she felt soft lips touch hers in a slow kiss.

"Happy Birthday." The movement of those lips still touching hers actually tickled and she smiled. Which turned into a smirk as she watched Liv move to an old tree trunk. "So...where's my present?"

Raising pale brows. "What makes you think, you'll get one?" Teasing. Delighted green eyes dancing.

"Mmh." She took the few steps towards the small frame sitting comfortably on the fallen tree. Liv barely able to suppress a bright smile. Getting on her knees in front of her lover, she blinked innocent blue eyes at her. "And if I ask really nice?" Had let her hands caress soft skin since Liv was wearing only a pair of shorts. Saw green eyes darken a shade.

And then Liv had reached inside the backpack she had with her and handed her an envelope.

Staring at it a little surprised, it took her a moment to recognise the name of Liv's doctor on top of it.

And the world around her had turned very quiet.

There had been nothing but her breathing and her heartbeat. And a pair of shining green eyes she was falling into. Drowning to be saved by gentle hands...

She had no idea how she had managed to open the letter without ripping it apart her hands had been shaking that bad. The printed lines turning into a blur after the first two sentences. She had swallowed and tried to say something. Which had turned into a husky croak.

And warm hands had touched her face. Tracing down her cheek to caress her lips.

"...happy birthday..." A breathless whisper.

Pale eyes blinked open as the lonely cry of an owl echoed through the clearing and a rustling shadow brushed past her.

The dark velvet of the sky spotted with blinking lights was slowly taken over by a thick layer of grey as clouds from the sea started moving in. The air filled with the strong scent of rain even as the wind gained in strength.

Rayne released a shuttering breath. Her entire body hurting from the memory of that day. Hurting because of what she had just done...

"...I'm sorry..." A whisper that died on the breeze brushing past her. Tickling her skin with the first drops of rain. And then she was drowning in the steady rush of rain. Tilting her head back, she closed her eyes.

Just drowning....

Her mind -

her heart -

her soul filled with gentle green eyes. And smiling pink lips...

I'm sorry.



You're a coward.

Wasn't that what Matthias had called her?

Rayne buried her hands in the pockets of her coat. Trying to get them a little warm. The cold of the night slowly but steadily creeping into her body. Her breath a cloud of steam in front of her.

The snow was sighing softly with every step. Covering naked limbs like heavy blankets. Its white bathed in a soft yellow glow where the light from the street caressed it.

Pale eyes blinked as snowflakes tickled her face. Melting on her skin. Leaving damp trails like icy teardrops...

"...coward..." A puff of breath. Her feet felt heavy as she took the two steps that led her to the door.

She was tired of running. She'd been running for two years. Had been running from the only thing that had ever mattered to her. Because she had been afraid and allowed herself to be blinded by the guilt she had felt.

How could she have hurt Liv so much?

And honestly believe that it'd been for the best?

The accident and Liv losing the baby.....

The tall frame came to halt. The dark head dropping for a moment. Losing the baby had killed her. Only a week before the accident they had got the first picture of the baby that showed its face...tiny toes and fingers...and a nose she would have sworn looked so much like Liv's...

The snow on the ground was sparkling up at her and she kicked it. Spraying it as white mist through the cold air to settle back on the ground.

Leaving Liv...

She honestly had believed that there was no other way. Couldn't understand why Liv didn't hate her. Why she didn't blame her.

Not that it mattered since she was blaming herself enough for the both of them.

Pale eyes closed.

God, seeing her in the clinic. Pale and bruised. Those green eyes questioning her...begging her to say something. Anything.

And she hadn't.


She knew that it was her fault...them drifting apart. If anything than this was were she had really failed. By shutting Liv out and burying herself in the guilt she'd felt, she had destroyed them.

All the times Liv had tried to reach out to her. Had tried to talk to her.

And she had pushed her away.

Then why are you here?

Rayne looked up at the now dark house. The dark of the night weakened and pale grey was slowly creeping along its outer edges. Bringing the first hints of pink.

Why try now when you wasted two years already?

What if she pushes you away now?

Why should she care?

A shaky breath. She didn't have the answers to all those questions but she knew that she loved Liv. And that she couldn't stay away anymore. And if nothing else she could at least apologise. She had made the biggest mistake of her life by leaving two years ago.

And if there was anything in this life worth fighting for - than it was Liv.

And their love.

Slow steps brought her nearer to the door.

It was too late to explain anything, she knew that. And maybe Liv didn't want to see her anymore. Maybe she did hate her...for saying the things she had said that night two years ago.


But maybe, maybe there was a chance. To talk. Finally. To finally say everything she had wanted to say two years ago.

She didn't expect Liv to forgive her.

But maybe...

A eerie sense of deja vu as her hand closed around the door handle. No sound emanating as it surrendered to the slight pressure of her hands and opened.


"It does."

"Does not."

Rustle of paper. An amused snort.

"Does, too."

A teasing sigh and then a pair of small arms wrapped themselves around broad shoulders. Soft lips nibbling a nearby ear. "Does not."

"Look....see how it tilts upwards just a little bit? There?...It's your nose."

"Mmh..." Pale brows wrinkling a little. "It does look a little like mine, doesn't it."

"Told you so!" A smug smirk. Which turned into a gentle smile as pink lips pouted at her. Taking her time exploring them. Feeling the pressure of their baby against her belly...

"I love you." A low voice tickling her skin. Even as warm hands slipped beneath her shirt...

The small frame curled into a corner of the couch moved yet again. Even in sleep a frown shaping those gentle features.

A soft sound as Liv fought her way out of the dream. Knowing that she was still asleep and dreaming as she blinked her eyes open ---

--- to drown in pale blue.


The house lay quiet.

No sound but her footsteps on the carpet. The soft sighs of the wooden floorboards all but a muted sound as she walked through the small hallway towards the living room.

It was frightening how right being here felt.

Where everything reminded her of their time together. Even the air held the soft scent that was so much part of Liv she would have recognised it anywhere.

Rayne came to a halt at the bottom of the stairs. Her eyes tracing upwards. Barely able to make out the outlines of doors upstairs; blurred by the twilight lingering inside.

A soft sigh.

Her stomach tightened into a knot as she turned and walked towards the living room. Her hand curling around the doorframe as she saw her.

Curled into a thick blanket. The pale head barely visible.

Rayne swallowed. Her entire body trembling with the sheer force of seeing Liv again. It seemed to take forever but she managed to take the few steps towards the sofa. But then her legs gave in and she had to sit down. The small table in front of the sofa groaned as her tall frame came to rest on top of it.

Her heart was beating so fast and loud she was surprised it didn't echo through the quiet room. Knotting her hands together to keep them from shaking, she took a deep, shaky breath.

Freezing as Liv started moving. Turning towards her. Pale brows wrinkled in an unconscious frown. And then a soft whisper - barely stirring the air - drifted to her.


Pale blue eyes closed against the pain branding through her. God it hurt.

To hear the soft voice. And her name....no one said her name the way Liv did. It was like a gentle caress. Every letter touched by soft lips and even when they had argued it had never lost its gentleness.

Even in those last few weeks before she had left...

She had never doubted that Liv loved her. But after the accident she couldn't understand why. She hated herself - how could Liv still love her?

The tall frame moved forward. Pale eyes tracing those gentle features....the small lamp next to the sofa bathing them in soft shadows.

Again the small frame moved. Pink lips forming silent words and she almost - almost reached out to touch her.


"...I love you..." A desperate whisper that barely stirred the air.

Outside the first bird fluffed its feathers. The small form puffing up its chest as dark eyes blinked into the dawning morning. The town was still quiet. Only the faint sound of morning traffic drifting through the cold air. The houses and the lake still buried underneath a soft coating of snow.

It hopped down from the limb it had been sitting on and flew towards a window sill. Its tiny feet leaving thin imprints in the snow. Its tilted it head. Looking at two forms sitting inside. One sitting on a table with broad shoulders dropped in a defeated gesture. The other asleep on the dark leather couch.

The little bird hopped a few more inches towards a bowl filled with seed and grain. Already ignoring the two forms it had looked at.

Not seeing that a small hand reached out from underneath the blanket to brush through dishevelled blonde locks. Rubbing sleepy green eyes that blinked in confusion at the tall frame sitting next to the sofa. All but a dark outline against the window where the sky was a pale grey slowly dissolving into a light blue. Stars slowly fading into nothingness.

Liv blinked again.

Breathing became difficult as her mind finally accepted the fact that Rayne sat before her. That she indeed was looking right into those pools of pale blue...

She sat up and backed against the back of the sofa.

Saw Rayne swallow and then the dark head dropped as she took a deep breath. Her hands knotted together but it didn't help in trying to hide their shaking.

Then pale eyes looked up again.

Oh god. Liv barely caught the sob choking her throat as she looked into those blue depths she had been longing to see for two years. Long dark locks dampened by the snow...curling at the very tip. Chiselled features flushed from the cold outside. How long had she been there?

There were a million questions racing through her mind. Deafening in their noise - and yet all she was able to utter was a hoarse: "...hey..."

If relief was audible she would have heard a shattering sound. As it was all she saw was the way Rayne's shoulders dropped. Her entire body seeming to relax. A little bit.

Those blue eyes blinked at her. "...hey, yourself..." Just as hoarse.


Breathing. Rustle of clothes. Faintly the ticking of a clock. Soft sighs of wood.

Pale eyes watching as Liv wrapped her arms around herself in an unconscious gesture to shield herself from whatever might happen next. The movement caused the sweatshirt she wore to dip at the collar. A delicate necklace catching the dim light from the lamp in glittering highlights...

Rayne cleared her throat. The sound a husky croak. Tilting her head, she caught uncertain green eyes. "...happy birthday..."

Blinking green eyes. "...thanks..."

Again silence.

Deafening with all the unsaid words drifting between them.

Liv was the first to move. Unable to keep still, she got up and moved behind the sofa. Her hands curling around the back of it. Knuckles turning white due to the pressure.

"Why are you here?" There was no anger in her voice. No indignation or disgust. Just...


Rayne swallowed and got up as well. Taking a hesitant step towards the small frame. "I...." Long fingers brushed through dark locks. Then: "I didn't mean to walk away."

Liv got very still. Green eyes looking at her for a painfully long moment. The blonde head tilting a little. "But you did, Rayne."

She dropped her head and took a trembling breath. At the moment she felt awfully vulnerable with the memories of her dream still very much alive in her mind. That she had spent the night thinking of Rayne didn't help either.

A soft sigh. Subtle sounds of movements.

And then she felt a warm presence at her back.

"...don't..." She took a step away from the tall frame. As much as she wanted to drown in Rayne's embrace there was...God...One would think that after two years it wouldn't hurt as much as it did.

"Why Rayne?....why are you here?" Desperate. Almost pleading.


Then a deep breath and the soft sound of Rayne moving closer. She didn't move away - but didn't turn around, either as she felt a warm hand on her shoulder.

Green eyes closing as her soul seemed to mend itself from the simple touch alone.

"If you want me to leave I will."

A sad laugh. More a pained whimper than a laugh. "You didn't need my permission two years ago."

The hand disappeared. "I don't want to hurt you."

This time she turned around. Not stepping closer but catching pale eyes that didn't flinch away but met her gaze. "Anymore than you already did? Nothing you could do now could possible hurt me as much as I hurt that night......I needed you, Rayne...." A trembling breath. "And you walked away."

Liv's voice was soft. Still no anger. Just a soft, tired voice. And hurting green eyes.

And a soul still reaching for its other half...

The living room was filled with pink rays of the rising morning sun. Bathing them in a halo of soft light. Flakes of dust dancing through the beams. From the lake the low humming of the ferry drifted towards them...accompanied by cheery voices of birds. Faintly the noise of traffic. A soft dripping sound audible where the warmth of the sun melted snow covering limbs and twigs.

"I'm sorry." The low voice sounded eerily loud in the quiet that surrounded them.

Pale brows wrinkled even as silent tears traced down gentle features. "Sorry?....For what? For leaving or for coming here, tonight?"

"For hurting you....I never meant to hurt you. But that night....I hated myself and I couldn't understand why you didn't. The baby....the accident...."

Green eyes blinked at her. Drops of tears catching sparkles of light. "Hate you?" Without conscious thought Liv took a step forward. Close but still not close enough to touch. "Hate you?....God, Rayne....I love you. I fell in love with you the moment we met...how could I ever hate you?"


Heartbeats and two sets of breathing.

That was all she was aware of.

And a pair of green eyes that disappeared as Liv dropped her head. Realising what she had said. Pale blue watching as she wrapped her arms around herself.

I love you

It became difficult to breath as the words impacted with her mind. So much so that she actually felt dizzy for a moment.

"You wouldn't talk to me. Always said you're okay...that you need some time...and I understood. It was hard, but Rayne..." Liv's voice was barely above a whisper and she still hadn't looked up. A few stray blonde locks tickling her brows. "I didn't know what was going on inside you......there was a time I thought you blamed me for...." Fading into a choked sob. The small frame trembling with tears she couldn't hold back any longer.

Rayne moved. Wrapping her arms around Liv who fought at first but then simply gave in to the warmth surrounding her.

Burying her face into Rayne's chest. Drowning in waves of a scent so familiar.

"...forgive me...forgive me..." The whispered words brushed past her ears over and over again. Hoarse and carrying all the pain she felt inside.

Grabbing handfuls of the sweatshirt Rayne wore, she simply held on. Her eyes closed tightly and she just...

Held on.

Strong arms holding her almost painfully close but she didn't care. This was what had been missing ever since the accident. This was Rayne needing her as much as she needed her.

Her forehead touched warm skin as she leaned closer still. If she could crawl inside the soft skin she would have.

"...jag älskar dig..." She heard the low words as much as she felt them reverberate against her temple.

Trembling lips softly....hesitantly touched her face. Barely grazing her skin. A fleeting caress.

She didn't want to move. If moving meant that this moment would end, she wouldn't move for the rest of her life. She could hear Rayne's heartbeat. Felt her breathing as waves of subtle movement against her chest.

"...don't ever let go, again..." She didn't even know if her words were audible. Her throat hoarse and hurting. But she didn't care because those arms around her tightened. And then she was suddenly face to face with glistening pale blue eyes.

And fell all over again.

Tumbling hopelessly into blue depths...

To be caught by trembling lips touching hers in a gentle caress. Lingering for a small eternity.

A lifetime...

"...I won't...ever again..." Warm breath tickling her skin. "...ever again..."

Pale eyes closed as small hands tightened on her shirt and for a moment it felt as if the small frame buried inside her. Settling somewhere beneath her skin.

And as right as it felt - she knew that this was only a start. There were so many things they needed to talk about...she needed to talk about. But...

The small frame shifted a little in her arms.

But this was a first step.

A first step in putting fragments of shattered souls back together again. Mending them back into one...

Outside the sun broke through the last layers of dark. Bathing everything in a warm, golden glow. Tickling sleepy flakes of snow settling for the day. The sky a bright blue that hinted at a beautiful new morning.

A new beginning...



....safe in these arms
that's where I want to be
safe from the harm, in these arms
that's where I want to be

take me in your arms and hold me
take me in your arms and hold me
say you'll never let me go....


To M. - for everything

To K. - for all the things I never said


The End


I want to thank all of you who read the story so far and wrote me to tell me that you like it!!! THANKS! Hope you like the ending....J

If you like to comment on the story you can reach me at: gritjahning@hotmail.com
You can find my other stories on my website: www.fanfictiongrit.homestead.com

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