“Michael, stop worrying over me, I’m fine,” Holly says with a tinge of annoyance as she rolls her eyes at Michael who keeps asking every two minutes if she is in any pain as they sit on the private airplane headed towards Houston. "Excuse me for just caring about you, Holly. But it's only been two weeks since your accident, and a few hours after being discharged from the hospital, now we are heading to Houston…I don't want you to push yourself." But the problem was Michael always knew Holly pushed herself, harder than anyone, including her mother and it worried him sometimes. For the past two weeks, everyday Holly has been pushing herself to get better sometimes putting herself through even more pain than she needed to but that was something she didn't tell Michael. Holly looks across at him and gives him a small smile. "Michael, Dr. Ashworth wouldn't have discharged me if he thought I was still in terrible shape. Trust me; I'm alright." Michael sighs looking out the window. "I can't reason with you," he mutters. She smirks, "Admit it, and if you could, it would be boring." "I'll bet your family is a piece of work too," he adds giving her a side-glance. “Do you really want to get into a competition of who has the craziest family?” She retorts back. “If you were feeling better I would.” “Oh very nice, try and irritate an ill person.” “Now two minutes ago you bit my head off because you said you were fine,” Michael reminds with a smirk, which makes Holly roll her eyes again before smiling at him. “Touché. I’m really off my game, aren’t I?” “A little, but thank God your accident didn’t affect your eye rolling because I don’t know what you’d do then,” Michael says playfully before the pilot announces they are approaching Houston Intercontinental airport.

“You nervous?” Michael asks as he double checks his seatbelt is securely fastened. Holly shrugs her shoulders before looking out the window seeing the city growing bigger in the distance through the fluffy white clouds that disappear as the plane tears through them in the sky. “A little, I haven’t seen them in so long I just hope they are what I remember them to be. Hey Bill!” Bill turns around in his seat to look at Holly. “You still cool with driving the rental to Aunt Lynda and Uncle Greg’s house with Joan?” “No problem, Holly, we gotcha covered, dontcha worry,” Bill says before turning back around as the plane’s wheels begin to descend down out of the plane below making the bottom of the plane vibrate. "Still cannot believe we have four security guards with us," Holly mutters as the plane begins to speed forward till it hits the runway making everyone shake in their seats. "Baby, it's just for security, besides this is the way life is now, better get used to it." Holly looks at him, and for the first time, she feels like she can't relate. Inside she still feels like the same old Holly Williams that left when she was little, not the internationally known star that she is now. But for Michael this has been his whole life, he is a veteran at this fishbowl life that it doesn't faze him. Sometimes it makes Holly wonder if she'll truly ever comprehend fame and what it entails. "You sure you're aunt and uncle don't mind picking us up from the airport? They do know that fans may be there?" Michael says with a look of concern on his face as the plane goes around the course until it goes to a complete stop. "Yep, I already told her, and she told me to tell you that she's chased off wild horses and buffalo before and that a few people weren’t going to bother her.” Michael chuckles as the pilot tells them it is safe to unbuckle and disembark from the plane.

The sunrays in Houston come through the opened plane door, and it makes Holly smile, as she slowly gets up from the chair, not too quick otherwise her ribs will ache in pain again, and Michael will instantly see it on her face. He grabs her hand and leads her to the airplane door where she steps out to see nobody around, no fans, no press – nothing, except a Lincoln car a couple of feet from the tarmac with a person standing beside it. “Is that you, Sugar baby?” One of the voices shouts across, automatically Holly knows its Aunt Lynda. They walk down the steps and onto the tarmac with Michael walking beside her, holding her hand in case she would fall – a fear he has now. "Aunt Lynda!" Holly shouts back as Aunt Lynda comes running up to them to hug Holly, not too tight of course. "I've missed you so much, sweetheart," Aunt Lynda murmurs in Holly's hair as feels the long strands in her hands. She stands back with tears welling up in her eyes with Holly following suit. Aunt Lynda has not changed much over the years. Same short curly blonde hair, emerald green eyes, and infectious smiles; she stands back to examine Holly eyeing her up and down. "You grew up so much! My Gawd you are gorgeous sweetie!” Aunt Lynda looks over and sees Michael standing there patiently waiting to let them have their moment. She looks back at Holly with a sly smile. "Is this your fella?" Holly smiles back before looking at Michael with proudness. "Yes, this is Michael, my boyfriend. Michael, this is my Aunt Lynda."

Michael extends his hand. “A pleasure to meet you, Ms. Conte." She playfully swats his hand away, "My goodness, such formality with you, please call me Aunt Lynda, and give me a big hug! She grabs Michael and pulls him in for a big bear hug that makes him giggle and smile at her tenderness. Holly's mother and aunt are completely night and day, and it nearly takes Michael back. She pulls back and looks at Holly with a smirk. "You've done well for yourself, Holly, he'll look wonderful on the Christmas cards." Holly giggles as Michael raises a curious eyebrow at the two of them. All three look at Bill as he staggers down the stairs with a few of the suitcases. “Aunt Lynda, this is Bill, Michael’s head of security.” “How ya doin’? Nice to meet ya!" Aunt Lynda says to Bill who smiles sweetly at her. "Pleasure to meet you, ma'am." "Shall we get going? Sugar I know you must be in some discomfort.” “You can ask her a thousand times, she’ll never admit it,” Michael murmurs as Aunt Lynda wraps her arm around Holly leading her to the car. She looks over at Holly. “You don’t admit things to Michael here?” Holly smiles and shakes her head. “Good, never admit anything to a man because then you give them the satisfaction of knowing they were right.” Aunt Lynda opens Michael's door and Holly's passenger door. "Bill, you good?" Michael shouts before getting in. Bill waves before shouting back. "Go on ahead. We'll catch up. Gonna stop for a bite of food first.”

All three of them sit inside the cold inside of the Lincoln that shields them from the Houston heat. Just from five minutes outside, Holly's face is already broke out in a heavy sweat. Michael touches Holly's arm from the back seat. "You comfortable?" He asks, waiting to hear a huff from her about how he is too concerned. Instead, she grabs ahold of his hand and kisses it before Aunt Lynda gets inside the car. "I'm fine. Make sure you buckle up, the highways here get kinda crazy." A touch from her sends him into overdrive, but he doesn't think she knows that entirely. If Holly only knew the effect, she had on him physically, and now that he is in front of her family he will have to keep it in check. Aunt Lynda gets in the car and sighs as she feels the air conditioning going in the already started car. “My it is sweltering today!” She checks her mirrors before pulling out onto the freeway. “Where’s Uncle Greg?” Holly asks as she looks out the window as they pass the endless amount of cars on the freeway. “Oh he stayed at home, he wanted to cook you and Michael somethin’ real nice for dinner tonight.” Holly looks over at her and smiles. “His special barbeque?” “I can’t believe you remember his special barbeque,” Aunt Lynda says with a smile as she gets into the passing lane. “What’s his special barbeque?” Michael asks with his interest peaked. “Oh he never tells anyone what ingredients he uses, but when he makes it all the neighboring dogs always run over to the backyard trying to steal some,” Holly says with a giggle. “You’re kidding?” Michael says with a chuckle as they go over a large bridge that hovers over an enormous body of water where boats of every size zip up and down the water line. “Oh she isn’t, Michael, he won’t even tell me the ingredients…but don’t worry, I get the bastard every time. I don’t tell him what’s in my secret pie recipes either.” “You’re gonna tell me what’s in those pie recipes, right?” Holly asks with a smirk as Aunt Lynda gives her a side eye. “We’ll see about that. Now, Michael, how ya feelin’ about comin’ to Houston to visit us?” Aunt Lynda asks as she looks in the rearview mirror to observe him as she turns off the freeway onto a residential street giving Michael a sigh of relief. He hates freeways, always have and always will. Now for Holly, she can drive in them for days with no difficulty, and it’s always amazed him.

Michael clears his throat, hoping not to sound too nervous as he answers. "I'm excited. Holly grew up here so it will be nice to see where she grew up as a little girl." As Aunt Lynda comes to a four-way stop, she learns over to Holly and whispers, "Is he always this polite?" Holly giggles and nods, "A majority of the time, yes." "Well, we'll work on that. We're gonna get some grit into you, Michael, we Texans play it rough down here sometimes, and you gotta have a backbone. I can see Holly got that in spades,” she says looking over at Holly with proudness in her voice as if she were her mother observing her daughter. “You’re wrong, Aunt Lynda, Michael’s got grit, for instances, he swore at one of the nurses when I was in the hospital,” Holly says looking back at him with a knowing smile. Michael gapes at her. He never told her this so how she knows is beyond him. “How did you…?” “Bill told me, I must say Michael I feel very flattered you cursed just for me. I’m hoping to make you do it again some time,” Holly says with a grin as she turns back around in her seat. Michael can feel his face turning hot. He didn’t want her to know about that instance because that wasn’t normally him. “So there is hope after all for this boy,” Aunt Lynda says with a wink in the rearview mirror as she pulls into a long driveway. "Oh my God it's exactly as I remember it!" Holly says with awe as she observes the long dramatic driveway with trees lining it that opens up to a large red brick house with white pillars in the front with a large porch. "I remember when you were a little girl, oh about two or three, you used to run around this front lawn naked as a jaybird screaming that you didn't want to get a bath," Aunt Lynda remarks as she puts the car in park. Michael laughs at the thought of a little Holly running around carefree. "I think I have a photograph of it somewhere in a scrapbook." "Don't you dare show Michael a picture of my naked baby butt!” Holly warns, her eyes wide with fear. Michael bellows over in laughter before he learns over the backseat chair to look at her. “What's the matter, babe? Afraid of me seeing your butt as a kid?" Holly rolls her eyes as she unbuckles her seatbelt. Aunt Lynda looks at the two of them with a smirk, "Did I say something I shouldn't have?" "No, go ahead and look, Michael, it's the only image of my behind you'll see in a long time," Holly playfully says back as she touches his cheek. His eyes widen at her words with shock and mirth. "Well, that took a turn, not to mention you saying that in front of your aunt." "Of sweetheart, let me tell you somethin' I am just as foul-mouthed as they come, believe me, nothin’ shocks me anymore,” she says patting his hand. Suddenly the front door swings open to a middle-aged man standing there holding a pair of tongs in his hand. He squints as he tries to see what’s going on in the car. “You gonna keep them in that hot car the entire time or let them come visit me for a sec?” He shouts with a laugh. Aunt Lynda gets out of the car joining in the laughter. "No, I thought I'd keep them in here the entire visit, and we could just feed them food through the car window, what'd think?" He walks down the brick steps as Michael and Holly get out. "Hmm, I don't like it, remember I just got the upholstery clean in there.” "Uncle Greg, you haven't changed a bit," Holly says with laughter as she goes up to give him a loose hug. He smiles and hugs her happily back. "I hope not; otherwise I'd have to admit I got old. My Gawd you are as pretty as a ladybug." He looks over to Michael and extends his hand, "How are you doing young man?" "Very well Mr. Conte. Thank you for inviting me to your home." "Oh it's not a problem, we're thrilled to have you, aren't we Lynda?" "Absolutely. Now let's get you two in the house. I made some fresh lemonade and tea, and it's in the fridge. C'mon in." Aunt Lynda grabs Holly by the waist, and they walk up the stairs together with Michael and Uncle Greg trailing behind them. Inside their home is large but cozy with photos and paintings everywhere that displays their personality. "You're home is lovely!" Michael marvels as he looks around. "Why thank you dear, it's a constant work in progress." They walk through the hallway that leads into the large kitchen. Uncle Greg rolls his eyes at Michael with a smirk that curls his small mustache. "Uh oh, every time she says it's a ‘work in progress' that's always code for ‘I want to buy some new stuff for the house.’” Aunt Lynda sharply turns her head to look back at him and narrows her eyes at him. “You talkin’ shit about me again?” “Ah naw, I’m just sayin how you love to spend a lot of our money." "Well, I haven't heard any complaints before Mr. I-have-to-have-a-hot-tub-in-the-backyard. Sit, sit please, I'll get the drinks, who wants what?”

All three of them sit down at the round oak dining table that sits in front of a large bay window overlooking their backyard. “My usual, love,” Uncle Greg, says putting his tongs down on the table and sitting down with a sigh. “Just tea, please,” Michael says. “I’ll talk half of both in the same glass,” Holly says crossing her legs and wincing at the mundane task. Michael watches her closely. “Comin’ up!” Uncle Greg sits forward in his chair to look over at Michael with interest. “Now, Michael, you’re twenty-one?” “Yes, I am.” “You like to drink? Because I got a case of Bourbon downstairs that will rock your world.” Aunt Lynda comes over and sets the drinks down looking at Greg with interest. “Greg, it’s eleven in the mornin', and you're tryin’ to get the boy liquored up?” “I didn’t say I was gonna turn him into an alcoholic!” He says with a laugh. Michael nervously giggles, which makes Holly smirk. She can see it all over his face. "Thank you, Mr. Conte, but I'm not a big fan of drinking." "Ah alright, but if you change your mind." "Then you'll be his supplier. I think he got that memo," Aunt Lynda chimes in sitting down beside Holly, patting her upper thigh lovingly before taking a sip of her ice tea. “Now, how long have you two been together?” She asks looking at both of them. Holly looks at Michael and smiles, which makes him turn red and look down at the hardwood floor with a smile. “We’ve been together for four months.” “Ah young love, where did you two meet?” she inquires more. “Jeez Lynda, don’t grill the two,” Greg says. “We met over two years ago where Holly, I, and my brothers appeared on the same show,” Michael says grabbing Holly’s hand in his and giving it a kiss making Holly smile in his direction. “The Mike Douglas show? I saw that one!” Aunt Lynda says happily, “My goodness, who knew. But I saw the way you were looking at her, admit it you were smitten with her already,” she says with a chuckle. Michael can feel his face turn hot at his embarrassment. “I was quite taken with her, yes…and I still am.” “And as they say on the Family Feud, good answer,” Holly says jokingly holding his hand onto her thigh where he can feel her soft skin. There's nothing he wants more right now than to hold her in his arms and feel her against him, something he still hasn't had the opportunity to do since they reunited. "Are you happy?" Aunt Lynda asks Holly. Holly looks over at Michael before smiling again one that makes his heart enlarge and skip a beat. "Yes, after everything that has happened Michael is the one bright spot and for that, I'll always be grateful for." She kisses the back of his hand again. Lynda and Greg give each other a knowing look with a smile at the young couple. "We're certainly are happy for the two of you, life goes a lot easier when you have someone you can depend on during the good and bad times," Uncle Greg says lovingly touching Aunt Lynda's arm making her smile now. It is now Michael and Holly’s turn to look at each other and smile at the scene. “Well, how about I show you where you’ll be staying?” Aunt Lynda says coming out of her daze standing up looking at the two of them. Michael and Holly stand up, Holly not as quickly as she would like. “Why don’t you show Holly where they’ll be staying, I want to show Michael the backyard,” Greg says with a proud smile. Lynda rolls her eyes, “You and that goddamn backyard, I swear if it was at all possible he would kick me out and marry it. C’mon, we’re gonna make this a girl’s only time,” Lynda says grabbing Holly’s hand and taking her upstairs to one of the guest bedrooms that overlooks their backyard. Holly remembers the room as a little girl and how she would hide behind the curtains when her mom would tell her it was time to leave…she never wanted to go home.

Holly slowly walks over and looks out the bay window and sees Uncle Greg and Michael in the corner of the backyard talking in front of the barbeque area, Uncle Greg pointing at something far off in the distance with Michael nodding his head. She smiles at the sight as she clutches the sheer white curtains. Aunt Lynda comes up behind her and observes what she is looking at. "He seems to fit, doesn't he?" she asks. Holly looks back and sees her smiling. "He does." "Now this is your room…and Michael's if you wish, your Uncle and I aren't prudes, so we don't mind if you two sleep in the same bed. We just want you two comfortable that's all." Holly can feel her face go hot and her ribs suddenly ache twice as hard now at the insinuation that they are having sex. If she only knew that they are probably the only couple in America that sleep in the same bed without having sex. Holly walks over to the bed and sits down on the edge, relieving some of the pressure off of her lower back and by extension, her ribs, she sighs out. “Well don’t worry about us, Aunt Lynda…there’s nothing gonna go on in the middle of the nights.” Aunt Lynda’s eyes widen with curiosity as she sits down beside her. "Why's that? Can't Michael…?" "Oh, I'm sure he can it's just he wants to wait till marriage." "You're kidding?" "Oh, believe me, I don't kid about that, and neither does he. He's a Jehovah's Whiteness, you know, and he feels like it's his duty to you know…not sleep with me.” “But wait, don’t you two live together?” “That’s just temporary and yeah we do, we sleep in the same bed and everything.” “How does all this make you feel?” Aunt Lynda asks looking at her. Holly shrugs as she looks down at the rug. "I guess alright, I mean sex is just to make babies anyway, so I feel like I ain’t missin’ much.”

Aunt Lynda gives her a look as if Holly has suddenly grown three heads. “Sweetie, what are you talkin' about? Didn't your mama tell you all about the joys of it?" "Aunt Lynda, you know mom, do you think she told me much of anything like that." "Well that's true, so let me get this straight, you and Michael still haven't made love? Like do you know what an orgasm is?” Holly can feel her embarrassment rising as Aunt Lynda keeps probing the question. “No…we haven’t, and I don’t know what that is because mom never explained it to me before.” “Oh, sweetie, do you want me to tell you about it? You're eighteen; I think it's time you do know everything that sex entails." Holly sighs out knowing she doesn't have a choice in the matter. "Fine, but don't show me any diagrams," she says with a smirk trying to make this situation less uncomfortable, but with this topic, it is damn hard.



Meanwhile downstairs in the backyard, Greg is showing Michael his grilling techniques along with their latest design project concerning the pool. “So basically I grill it on low at three-fifty until they’re tender,” Greg says turning the dial down on the grill where the barbeque chicken sizzles under the lid. “Oh, I see,” Michael, says looking around at their property. Greg looks at him and smiles, his sunglasses on shielding him from the sun rays. "I'm sure you are bored with my grillin' talk, Michael." "No, no, it's interesting, I don't know how to cook much so I'm learning." "Good God don't tell Lynda, she'll put you in the kitchen." Michael chuckles. "Would she?" "Oh, you don't know Lynda. She loves to help youngsters such as yourselves. Please sit.” Greg and Michael sit down at the black wrought iron table and chairs with a yellow umbrella shielding them underneath. "Why's that?" Michael asks. "Well we couldn't have children of our own, so she helps other children out, or I keep her busy with home improvement projects." Michael feels sadness deep in his heart that these two nice people couldn't have children of their own. "Was that difficult, not having children, if you don't mind me asking." Greg shrugs looking around the backyard trying to find the right words. “Sometimes it was. You don’t know how tough it is having a legacy and nobody to pass it down to, but I don’t tell this to Lynda I know it upsets her enough as it is.” For the first time in his life, it makes Michael think about having children and how important it is to pass it down to someone someday and the even scarier notion is…would he want these children with Holly?

Greg looks over at Michael before wiping his brow that is drenched in sweat. "You want kids?" "Someday I'd like to," Greg smirks and leans back further in his chair. "Want them with Holly?" Michael can feel his flush as he looks down at his hands on the table. Greg chuckles and playfully smacks Michael's shoulder. "I'm just playin’ with ya. You two have only been together for four months that ain’t enough time to figure out what you two want.” Michael smiles still feeling embarrassed at the question but breathes a sigh of relief. He knows he wants to be with Holly of course, but thinking ahead that includes babies’ makes his head spin. He pushes the thought out of his mind as Greg points to the pool to talk about its design process, hoping to pick up any tips he can for his own home.


Back upstairs Holly gives Lynda a shocked expression before breaking out into a nervous laugh. “I feel like I’m getting punked right now." "Sugar, you need to take this seriously." "No, I am, but…c'mon, really? Does that happen?" Aunt Lynda gives a knowing smile. "Believe me, once it happens to you, you'll understand. Now that I’ve explained everything do you have any questions?” "So basically you're telling me that sex –" "You mean making love," Aunt Lynda interjects. "Okay, please don't say that again with me in the room," Holly says jokingly before continuing, "that it is this amazing and wonderful experience, but it's just shitty the first couple of times you have it?" Aunt Lynda nods. "Pretty much, but being with somebody you love makes it worth it though just don't believe what you see in the movies that are far from reality." Holly rubs her arms instinctively feeling rather uncomfortable. "Holly, you know you don't have to be embarrassed over this, you can ask me anything." "I know, it's just this is a lot to take in you know." "Well, do you want me to talk to Michael, you think he's got the basics down?" Holly holds her hand up. "Oh, I wouldn't subject Michael to this conversation unless I wanted to see him die from embarrassment." "Then how the hell is that boy ever going to make love to you if he gets shy over the slightest thing?" "Okay you're saying that phrase again, and that's making me very uncomfortable." “Oh please don’t give me that bullshit you say curse words all the time,” Aunt Lynda says with the roll of her eyes, “Well, I should get downstairs and check on the food and make sure Greg hasn’t touched the pies.” “Aunt Lynda…” “Yeah, sweetie?” “Thanks for telling me about all this stuff.” Lynda touches the bottom of Holly’s chin and smiles. “Any time sweetheart.”





“Dig in everybody!” Aunt Lynda announces as she sets the corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes down on the dining room table before sitting down across from Holly and Michael. "Aunt Lynda, this is the best food I've tasted in a long time," Holly says as she takes a bite of her mashed potatoes and moans. Aunt Lynda smiles at the compliment. "I'm so happy sugar, and eat up there's plenty more." "Michael, you do eat barbeque, don't you? I guess it's a little late to ask that," Greg says putting a piece of barbequed chicken on Michael's plate. "Yes, I eat it," Michael says with a smile. "Oh, good, I was startin’ to worry there. Nobody can leave the Conte household without tryin' my famous barbeque." "You mean secret barbeque," Aunt Lynda says giving him the side eye. Uncle Greg pats her hand lovingly. "Maybe on your death bed, I'll tell you then." "Well somethin’ to look forward to,” she says taking a sip of her iced tea.

As Holly is eating, she looks over and watches Michael as he eats his food. Her mind is racing with talk with Aunt Lynda this afternoon about what making love entails. She is thinking about if she and Michael would one day behave like a typical couple that involved sex, which to her still makes her blush at the thought. Then an even quirkier idea hits her, she is bolder than Michael about specific topics, so she can only imagine when how bringing up the subject of sex would go over. Before she was unaware of what was involved and did not give a thought about it and did not care that he wanted to wait until marriage. Now that she was fully aware of what was possible between them, the potential pleasure that could be explored she was curious. She wanted him to touch her in ways that nobody else has and now that she knew what he was capable of she wanted him to show her what he was made of. The thought makes her heartbeat fast where her chest begins, and her hands shake. Michael looks over at her with curious eyes. "You okay?" he asks. It breaks her out of her trance, and she shakes her head furiously before she continuous to go back to eating. "I'm fine." Aunt Lynda watches them across the table with a watchful eye seeing how Holly is looking at Michael. “Enjoy the food now guys, because after dinner you two are doing the dishes.” Michael and Holly look at Lynda with a shocked look making her laugh. “Don’t look at me like that. In this house, I don’t care if you two are known celebrities you still are doing housework.” “B-But why?” Holly asks still holding her fork mid-air. Aunt Lynda smirks. “Because it will keep you two grounded, remind you two of what real life truly is.”




“So did you and Aunt Lynda have some time to catch up this morning? You guys talk about anything fun?” Michael asks as he puts on his jaws t-shirt getting ready for bed. Holly is sitting in bed with the covers on her. “Uh, you know this and that. We talk about everything.” Michael turns off the adjoining bathroom light before coming over to his side of the bed with a smile. “I’m sure.” He takes off his watch and puts it on the nightstand. Holly puts out her hand to his side of the bed grabbing his attention. “Can I tell you again how much I appreciate you coming along with me? I know my family can be a little…overbearing.” Michael chuckles pulling the covers back before crawling in beside her, grabbing her hand. "Don't thank me; I'm enjoying it. Greg and I were talking in the backyard, and he's a cool guy." Holly giggles. "I've never heard anyone use the term cool and Uncle Greg in the same sentence." Suddenly she winces out in pain, grabbing her ribs, the searing pain ripping through her making her lose her breath momentarily. Michael grimaces at the sight of seeing her in pain and wants to make it go away. "Baby, please let me give you some pain pills, it will make you sleep better." She has her eyes pursed together until the pain begins to disappear slowly as she shakes her head. "No, because if I feel the pain, that means I'm still feeling. I don't want to stop feeling." "I won't let you get addicted to them," he murmurs grabbing her hand again, touching the spots on the top of her hand where her IV marks are, tracing the circles. "It's a no, Michael. I have a high tolerance of pain; I can take it, see it's already starting to go away," she says relaxing back into the pillows.

A little part of Michael doesn't believe her. Part of Holly likes to put on a brave front all the time for him, and he wishes she would stop it sometimes, but for her, he knows it's a coping mechanism if she ends being strong she will fall apart…he knows it as well as she. He kisses her hand and nuzzles it against his cheek. "You realize this is the first time we've slept in the same bed since I left for the tour?" He looks at her in the eyes looking at the dark blue orbs looking across from him. She smiles. "I know, I've missed this, and I've missed you." "Not as much as I've missed you, baby." Holly pushes closer to him, intertwining her legs around his like a vice until their lips are close enough to kiss. It starts off as small pecks till they turn longer and more sensuous the first time they’ve truly kissed each other since they reunited. A small part of Holly wants to keep Michael where he is and see how far he can go, ribs be damned, but in Michael's mind, all he can think about is how he doesn't want to hurt her, so he quickly backs off. Holly sighs out against him catching her breath. “I’m not made of glass ya know, you don’t have to always stop.” “Maybe I do it for my sake, not for yours,” Michael remarks, wrapping his one arm around her waist. “And what if I don’t want you to stop?” she asks looking at him with a tone so serious that it makes Michael snap his head back at her. “What do you mean?” She weakly smiles and shakes her head touching the top collar of his t-shirt before looking back at him. “Nothing, I don’t mean anything. I’m tired.” She kisses him quickly on the lips once more before turning out her side lamp and snuggling back into his embrace again. He kisses the top of her head. “Night.”

Inside he feels puzzled at what Holly meant. She looked at him so severely that it didn't seem like her. As he holds onto her, he caresses her arm thinking about things that Greg was talking about today with having kids and wondering if Holly would be the one to have his children someday. Minutes and hours tick away on the clock as these thoughts race in his mind, meanwhile Holly lays inside his grasp unable to sleep thinking about if she and Michael would be like an average couple where he desired her physically and acted upon it. Both of them lie there in their grown-up thoughts on what the future holds for them.