Part 7

Kane built a fire in the fireplace. "The heat here is pretty unreliable.
But this fireplace more than makes up for it." He went to the kitchen to fix
them some dinner. "I'll help," she offered. "Oh no." he said. "You're my
guest." "I thought we'd passed that point already," she said softly. "Ok, if you
say so," he laughed, handing her a potato peeler.
"You're a very good cook," she said as they stood to clean up. "It was
either that or starve to death." She immediately grabbed a dish towel as he
began to wash the dishes. They worked in silence, but it was a comfortable
silence. It was two people content to be together, not two people wary in
each other's presence. When they had finished they walked into the living
room. She sat down on the soft rug in front of the fireplace and leaned her
back against the sofa. "This is nice," she said. "I guess I really don't
appreciate it," he said. "Or maybe it's just nice to have some company." He
sat down next to her and they both stared into the flames.
"I'm assuming you know quite a bit about me," he finally said. "Well
some, yeah." "I'd like to know about you," he  said." "Not much to tell," she
said. "Oh, ok," he said, sensing her pulling back. "No..Kane. I didn't mean it
like that. I just don't like to bore people with the story of my so called
marriage." The pain in her voice was all too evident. "I'm a good listener," he
said, smiling softly.
"Ray died about a year ago. And if he hadn't I would have divorced
him," she said. He didn't want to push but he could tell there was quite a
bit more to the story. "Don't get me wrong. I loved Ray when I married him.
But unemployment and money problems have a way of breaking down a
marriage. Ray changed. He started blaming everything that went wrong on
me. Every conversation became a screaming argument. Then of course
there was the alcohol." Kane fought the urge to reach out and take her
hand. "I might even have been able to deal with that if..." "If what?" he asked
softly. "He hadn't decided to ....get physical." "He hit you?" he said,
involuntarily clenched his fists. "Only once...but that was enough." She
could still feel the force of his punch as it crashed into her cheekbone. "Of
course he claimed to feel awful about it. But I knew he was wishing he had
done it a lot sooner. I told him to get out and he refused. So I threatened to
call the police. Looking back, I probably did the wrong thing. He had been
drinking and had no business being in a car. Two hours after he left, the
police called. He hit a tree on the interstate and died instantly."
"You aren't going to tell me you feel guilty, are you?" "I did for quite a
while. But I realized that Ray made all his own decisions. It was his choice
to drink, it was his choice to drive away." And how are you now?" he asked.
"Better..much better. I'm in control of my life again." He sat there admiring
her strength and courage when he saw her trembling. "Liz?" "I'm just a little
cold," she said. He got up and came back with a large blanket. He leaned
over to wrap it around her and he found his face only inches from hers.
Before either of them knew what was happening, his lips were
pressed against hers. He pulled back quickly, almost in shame. "I'm so
sorry. I never should have....." But he never got a chance to finish the
sentence. She slid her arms around his neck and pulled him into another
hungry kiss. Kane moaned softly, as her tongue slid along his lips. He
opened his mouth and their tongues brushed together sweetly. A warmth
spread through his chest and settled in his abdomen. The desire he felt for
her was almost overwhelming. Liz's hand dropped down to run across his
chest. "You're an incredible man," she whispered. Kane cupped her face
gently, running his thumb along her lower lip. "You are so beautiful." "Kane?"
she asked, her voice barely audible. "Yes?" "Would you make love to
Her words sent a thrill through him. "Are you sure? I mean I've
never...." "I'm sure," she said. "I've wanted you for so long." He stood up and
swept her into his arms, carrying her up to his bedroom. He placed her
gently on his bed and stood back stripping off his sweater. Her breath
caught in her throat as she allowed her eyes to travel all over him. He
quickly dropped down next to her and covered her mouth a searing kiss. In
seconds they were undressed, eagerly caressing each other. "I want to
touch you," he said softly. Smiling, she took his hand and guided it to her
breast. A small cry came from him as he kneaded the soft flesh. Using his
fingertips he teased the nipple into hardness. Unable to resist, he lowered
his head and sucked gently. "Mmmm...yes," she whispered.
Without coaxing, he slid his hand downward and in between her legs.
Her hips arched up quickly as he explored gently. "I'm not hurting
I?" "No.." she whispered. "It feels wonderful." She had forgotten what it felt
like to be touched so gently. He worked slowly and almost methodically,
losing himself in the sweet discovery of her. She looked up into his eyes
and without speaking, slid her hand in between them, wrapping it around
him. Kane cried out involuntarily and she gasped at how hard and ready he
already was.
Liz shifted her weight so that he was looming over her. "I want you
now," she said softly. Kane took her hips in his hands and raised them
gently. As he eased inside of her, she could hear the soft whimpers of
desire aching to be released from him. Soundlessly they moved together.
Instinctively, he knew exactly what to to please to make
her forget the pain of the last year. Minutes seemed like hours as they
brought each other closer and closer to that sweet release. When it finally
overtook both of them she clung to him fiercely as spasm after spasm
racked his massive frame. He finally collapsed on top of her quickly rolling
to the side.
He laid silently for a few moments, trying desperately to catch his
breath. "That was everything I prayed it would be," he whispered. "It
was..wasn't it?" she replied, falling into a deep, dreamless sleep. 

Part 8

The next morning dawned clear and bright. Almost as if the storm
had washed away everything dark in his life. He had almost been afraid to
open his eyes for fear that he had dreamed it all. But there she was,
smiling at him. "Good morning," she said. "Sleep well?" "What do you think?"
he said with a smile. "Thank you for last night," he murmured. "No...thank
you," she said. "It's been a long time since I felt so..." "Loved?" he finished
hopefully. "Yes...loved," she repeated.
Steve was busy trying to set out some new stock and still keep an eye
on the lighthouse. When he finally saw the boat headed back to the dock, it
was all he could do not to run down the path and demand to know what
had happened. Instead he settled for stepping outside to watch as Kane
tied the boat up and helped her out. The next scene would stay burned in
his brain forever. She stepped on to the dock and reached up. Snaking her
arms around his neck she kissed him. And not a friendly kiss between so
called friends. It was the warm passionate kiss of two people who had done
more than just wait out a storm together.
His fists began to clench and unclench. Then suddenly he realized
what was so different. The freak wasn’t wearing his mask! "So...she has
quite an influence on you, doesn't she?" As he stared at them, he was
enveloped by a dark cloud of hatred. "Everyday of his life had been spent
looking at that lighthouse. It was a silent reminder of the one stupid
moment in his life. It constantly called to him that he was responsible for
the deaths of two people..and the physical and emotional scarring of a
third. He couldn't take it anymore. "I'll make damn sure you never have
reason to come over here again," he thought. "If you think I made your life
hell haven't seen anything yet."
She walked into her house and looked around. She felt more free and
more alive than she ever had before. "I guess being in love will do that," she
giggled. She was going to go and change when he pounded on her door.
"Are you trying to break my door down?" she asked, as she pulled it open.
"Where were you all night? And don't tell me with...that freak...because I
just can't accept that." "Get out of my house," she said, moving to shut the
door. "Not before I tell you something. This is a small town. People talk a
lot. It won't be long before everybody knows what you did last night. How in
God's name could you give yourself to that....?"
"He's a man Steve. A good and decent man. And I don't care what
other people think." "Well you should," he growled, grabbing her arm. She
wrenched away from him, suddenly seeing Ray in front of her. "I want you
out of here." "And I want you to tell me that it was a mistake. I want your
word that you're never going over there again. This is where you me."
"With you?" she laughed. "I don't think so." Up until that point his
breathing had been ragged and uneven. It began to quiet into slow, even,
nearly silent breaths. "Fine...have it your way. You had your chance. I guess
your friend over there will just have to live with your choice." He turned and
slammed out of her house, leaving her somewhat frightened and
bewildered but relieved that he was gone.

Part 9

Kane laid in his bed, still re-playing every moment from the night
before. He had been terrified that when she awoke she would instantly
regret what had happened. Instead she had been just as happy as he was.
They had made love again, and it was just as better...than the
first time. He couldn't believe it but his prayer had been answered. He had
finally found someone...a friend...a lover...someone to share his life with.
He turned to his side and went to close his eyes when he saw it. A strange,
flickering reflection in the mirror above his dresser. It was coming from the
mainland, he was sure of that. The way the light danced seemed ominously
familiar. Then he remembered. He flew from his bed and threw back the
curtains. "No!" he screamed.
Across the bay, Liz's house was in flames. The orange and red light
reflected in the waves beneath. It took him no time at all to dress and fly
out to the dock and his tiny boat. He never crossed the bay at night
because of the jagged rocks hidden just beneath the surface. But now he
didn't care. He would swim across if he had to. He started the engine and
took off, willing the small vessel to go faster. Up above him he could see
fire trucks pulling up. He breathed a sigh of relief until he looked up
again..up to where her bedroom was. The entire second floor was engulfed.
His hand froze on the throttle as he swore he could once more hear the
screams of his parents. "No..not again," he whispered.
Mercifully, he made it through the icy waters and he jumped on to
the dock, haphazardly tying up. He ran up the path in long loping strides
until he was standing in front of the burning structure. Staring at the
flames as they licked hungrily at the wood frame of the house, he knew in
his heart that no one could have survived that. The energy drained from
him and he could feel darkness enveloping him.
"Kane!" He lifted his head slightly, and strained his ears. "Kane..over
here." He turned to see Luci waving frantically at him from the other side of
the road. He quickly made his way over. "Honey..she's fine. She's over
there." He followed her gaze and saw her..sitting on a fallen log at the side
of the road, wrapped in blanket. He let out a strangled cry and ran in her
direction. The second she saw him she dropped the blanket and flew into
his arms. "You're safe now," he whispered. "I'm here."
She buried her head against his chest and cried in heart breaking
sobs. "I thought I might never see you again," she said. He stroked her hair
softly, murmuring into her ear. She leaned back and he brushed the tears
from her face. "Everything is going to be fine." "I can't believe this!"
Everyone turned at the sound of his scream. "I told you...I warned
you. You were supposed to die...just like his parents died. You didn't want I was going to make sure that no matter what, he wouldn't have you
either. All my life you've hated me..all because of one mistake," he yelled at
Kane. "My life has been one long struggle to forget. And I thought I was
finally coming to grips with it. She came into my life and I thought maybe I
had a chance to be normal again. But no. You had to ruin it for me. So I
was going to punish you. I was going to make you feel the worst possible
pain. The pain I was feeling." He turned to Liz, his eyes wide and frantic.
"You were supposed to die Why are you still here? And with him?" "You set
this fire?" she asked in disbelief. "You know I did," he said with icy coldness.
"Just like I set the one that should have killed him."
Kane lunged at him, taking him to the ground and beating him with
every ounce of strength he had. Years of loneliness and pain poured out as
he finally had a target for all his pent up anger. It took four men..including
the sheriff, to pull him off. They dragged him away still screaming
incoherently as she knelt down next to him. "Are you all right?' she asked.
He nodded and stood up slowly. "I'd ask you to take me home." she said
with a sad laugh. "But I don't have one anymore. "Yes you do," he
whispered. "Your home is with and always."


Liz balanced the baby on her hip as she looked up to where he was
cleaning the glass. "Look Matthew. There's daddy. Maybe we can talk him
into taking the afternoon off. Sure is a nice day for a picnic." "Ok. I get the
hint," he laughed. "Just let me finish this section." She smiled and blew a
kiss to him, heading to the house to pack a lunch for them. He watched as
she carried their son inside and once more offered up a small prayer. "I
don't know what I did to deserve them both," he said, looking heavenward.
"But thank you." 

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