Not a Breath Stands Between Us By Jennifer Hallmark

Republisher’s Note: The Annulment Separation also brings out a lot of inspiration in fanfic writers. Another fanfic rescued from The Rustle of the Sheets.

Author’s Note: Timeline: Michelle has been in Europe for about three days, but missing Danny she has returned. She doesn’t know about the arrest, she doesn’t know anything other than that she misses him, but chicken-girl that she is, she has not truly admitted it to herself yet. They are both at Millennium, Danny is out on bail and drowning his sorrows.

Summary: Danny’s emotions overcome him when sees Michelle after her “European” vacation.

Rating: This one’s PG, folks.

Notes: This is just a short, sweet little vignette from Danny’s POV. I don’t have a sequel planned now, but hey, who knows. Enjoy!

Not a Breath Stands Between Us By Jennifer Hallmark

~ ~ ~Not a Breath Stands Between Us

I hadn’t known that she was back from Europe. Maybe she hadn’t even left yet, it had been only a couple of days. I wonder why she hasn’t contacted me about the annulment papers … and then I wonder why she has been stalling about the annulment, but it’s too much to ponder and I don’t want to think tonight.

I just want to drink. Drink dulls the pain, deadens the emotion I must insist that I don’t feel. So I just want to drink. But now that she is here, I have another activity in mind.

I just want to drink and watch her. And he’s not here, Drew mentioned that he was doing some errands. So I can gaze at my lovely wife without feeling the desire, no, the need to demolish that walking, wasted excuse for a flesh and bone that is Jesse Blue.

She crosses the crowded room and I feel my heart quicken. She affects me so easily. If she only knew how at her mercy I was. A hollow laugh escapes me, as if she would care. I shake my head, and repeat softly, “as if she would care.”

I take another sip of my scotch and continue watching her. She sits at the bar and crosses her legs. She is wearing heels, black and her legs are smooth, her black skirt is short, but not too short. She looks classy. Every inch a lady. If mother had ever given her a chance, she would have seen the perfect daughter-in-law. The perfectly respectable wife … bringing with her all of the respect that Springfield showed the Bauers. But of course she had not. Would not.

Michelle picks up a glass of something, it’s clear, no carbonation. Must be water. She brings it to her lips and they part, perfectly, beautifully. Just like everything about her. Beautiful. Perfect. A lie. It was all a lie, a picture-perfect portrait of everything I never knew I wanted and she presented it so … perfectly.

She tilts her head back and takes a long swallow of the cool water and I watch as the muscles in her throat contract and I feel a tightening in my groin and I have to laugh again. How easily she affects me. So easily. She sets the glass down and I notice the (of course) perfect imprint of her rose-colored lipstick on the clear glass and I have to shift my position as I wonder what the texture of it feels like.

She raises her hand and brushes her hair back — her beautiful, beautiful, honey-blonde, golden-fall, soft as a whispering breeze, hair. The curls are loose and soft, held back by a pearl-encrusted comb. I prefer it like that — the wildness, the unruly quality of those curls represent the untamed passions that I know, I know lie beneath the surface of that pristine Bauer perfection.

That passion that I so wanted to tap and inflame and bring out. And I could have, I know I could have, if she had given me half a chance. If. If. She cocks her head to the side and I see clearly the expression in one chocolaty-sable-shaded eye. It is sad, pensive and lost.

My God, I straighten up in realization. The look in her eye is the same look I see in mine every time I look in the mirror. The glass slips out of my hand and crashes to the floor. People look around me as I stand up, staring at her. She looks up, at the crash or the intensity of my stare, I don’t know, but she is looking at me.

Michelle. My Michelle.

Her eyes widen and her lips part and she rises from her seat. Her sweater is a pale green, and stretched taut across her form. I stand still, unaware of the whispers, the music, the moving bodies around me. My whole world is centered on my wife. My wife. My wife. My wife.

My wife is walking towards me and the loneliness is gone from her gaze. Therein lies apprehension (somewhere in my brain I note that it is apprehension and not fear) and a dazed kind of hope and passion — God help me, but that is passion in her eyes, in the flush of her cheeks, in the parting of those perfect lips.

“Danny,” she says my name and her voice is a song, the sweetest melody I’ve heard in my life. It’s been five days. Five days, fifteen hours and some odd minutes since I have heard her voice. Since I have stood this close to her. I find it difficult to breathe. The intensity of my wanting, my desire, my blessed need to touch me is so overwhelming it takes every single ounce of control I’ve ever had in my entire life to not reach out and touch her … her wild curls, her soft cheek, her lush lips, the translucent column of her throat.

“Michelle,” I manage her name and my voice sounds strained to my own ears. She sways ever so slightly closer to me and my heart is beating so loudly, so voraciously everyone in the room must hear it. I feel suffocated by her presence, her heat, her very being.

“You’re here,” I speak, anything to keep control. “I thought you were in Europe,” I move a fraction of an inch closer to her and the swirling waves of steaming hunger emanating from me seem to be burning her skin a rosy shade of red.

“I just got back today,” her voice is husky, barely a whisper and the words seem ripped out of her … it’s as if she is having the same difficulty maintaining normalcy. She steps closer and there is barely space for a breath between us. And she speaks again and her voice is low, so low that if I were not attuned to everything about her, I would have not heard her.

“I missed you.”

I missed you. I missed you. I missed you. I missed you. I missed you.

Her words keep ringing in my head, in my heart and my control is gone, vanished, vanquished by this slip of a girl who has the power to turn my world, my life, my dreams upside down and inside out.

I hold her face in my hands without even realizing that I have done so. Her eyes are open and she is leaning into me, her body pressed against mine. I stare at her for the eternity of a second and give my own admission, “I missed you, too.”

And then I can speak no more. Her eyes are closed, her lips parted and I am kissing her, one arm wrapped about her waist, pulling her as close to me as I possibly can, so that not a breath stands between us. Her lips are soft, as lush, as wonderful as I remembered, but infinitely better because this is not memory, this is reality.

She moans against me and her hand clutches at the front of my shirt, the other threading through my hair and she is hungry … as hungry for me as I am for her. I am lost and in the midst of the splendor of being in her arms again, I realize that this is real between us.

There is no Jesse. There is no lie. No pain, no goodbye, just the two of us and she is kissing me, holding onto me, clinging to me with everything in her and with that knowledge I am set free.

She is mine.

This woman is mine. My wife. Of her own accord, of her own desire, of her own will.

She is mine.

I pull back and a whimper escapes from her. She is holding onto me as if I am all that supports her. Were I to let go of her, she would fall at my feet … but I will never let her go. Never again.

“Michelle,” I whisper her name and those beautiful eyes open and I can feel the tears just lingering in the corner of mine, but I don’t care. And I give her my heart — I give it to her to have, to hold, to love, to cherish, to break … forever.

“I love you.”

The End

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