At eight in the morning the next day, Chad knocked on the door before using his key to unlock and enter the apartment. There was coffee brewing and some music was coming from Christine's desk in the corner of the living area. He called out a 'Hello' and locked the door after him, setting his keys and cell phone on the bar in the kitchen pass through.

"Hey, honey, I am back here. Can you come help me, please?" Christine was calling from her bedroom.

He went towards her bedroom and found her only half dressed. "I can not hook my bra. It just hurts too much and I am getting sooo frustrated." Her hair was frazzled and there were tears at the corners of her eyes. She was sitting on her bed, which had been carefully made. There were so many contradictions to this woman and her current situation. He felt a sudden rush of compassion, and sat down on the next to her, trying to hold her in an embrace without hurting her bruised left side nor ditrubing the awkward neck brace still circling udner her beautiful face. He kissed the top of her head, and, suddenly feeling very emotional, he tilted her head up towards him.

Leaning in, he kissed her mouth, a soft and warm kiss, showing how much he cared. He pulled back, then with his hand clutching the back of her head, tangled in the mess of her hair, he went for a deeper kiss, a passionate kiss. All he could feel in that moment was how much she meant to him and how scary the week had been. There had been too many questions and she was still his fragile angel, the woman he wanted to walk through life with. The woman he was in love with. He broke the kiss and embraced her again, harder this time, with disregard for the bulky brace and the bruised bones. He wanted her to know that he was there to care for her and walk hand in hand with her.

After a few moments, however, he became aware that she still did not have a blouse on. Although she had covered her breasts and not been exposed during the exchange, she was still, never the less, only half dressed. He recalled the dilema, but slowly pulled away. Without saying anything, he turned her so that he could help her latch the bra, then helped her get into the collared shirt, with its front buttons. When the buttons were done, he sat looking at her, holding her hands, lovingly looking upon her downturned face.

She was taken away by his sudden burst of passion and it had thrown her off guard. She felt inferior under his gaze, as if she could not live up to his standards, as if she did not deserve such admiration from her fiance.

"Christine? Look at me, Christine." She hesitantly looked at him. "Sweetheart, I am so sorry that things have been so hard. I may have been too tough on you, but I know that you can get through this. Please accept my apology. What else can I help you with this morning?"

She studdied his sincere face for a few moments, feeling the warmth of his hand throughout her soul. Finally she gave him a small smile. "Thank you for coming by to help me. I love you, Chad." She paused to let her smile get a little bigger as her confidence and courage for the day also returned. "I think that I will finish getting ready for the day if you want to pour us some coffee."

He smiled at her, then raised her hands to his lips. "As good as done." He left the room.

She stayed seated for a moment, looking at the doorway and listening to him humming in the kitchen of her apartment. She smiled, thinking about how lucky she was, and how he could surprise her in such a pleasant way. She touched her lips with her finger tips, and the momentum of her feeling of passion caused her to stand up with a sudden burst of energy. She also started humming.

A few moments later she came out of the bedroom, hair and makeup in place, clothed and ready for the day, with a slight blush to her face on top of it all. He looked at her and his heart sang. Neither were sure what exactly had changed. Could be that one passionate kiss after a week of stress and mistrust could awaken a renewed effort to be a strronger couple? They did not speak of it, but drank their coffee on the back porch on a beautiful fall mornning, overlookign the college campus that she still lived so close to.

The End

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