Loving (by Katherine)

Summary:    Laura’s favorite time of night.
Category:  Kung Fu–The Legend Continues
Genre:  Drama
Rated:  PG
Word Count:  1371


Laura lay in the crook of his arm, her head resting on his shoulder.  Sighing happily, she moved closer to him, smiling in the darkness.  He was asleep, his breathing soft and regular.  This was almost her favorite time of night, lying in his arms, listening to his gentle breathing, and remembering the moments of love they had shared.

Their first meeting had been so casual.  An off-hand introduction, a touch of the hands, and a feeling of connection that she couldn’t throw off.  And later, a shy question, “Perhaps we might dine together, sometime?”  She hadn’t meant to fall in love with him.  He was so much older, for one thing.  And a Shaolin priest!!  She hadn’t even heard of the sect until she met him.  But his gentleness, strength and loving spirit captured her interest, and without her even realizing it, the attraction had turned into love.  At first, she meant it to be just a casual thing, “If we get together great, if not…”  But as she grew to know and appreciate him,  Laura’s feelings turned into something far deeper than she had ever anticipated was possible..

Kwai Chang Caine was special, and was meant for more than merely loving her.  She knew that.  But he did love her.  There was no doubt of that.  She smiled as he stirred beside her, murmuring something so softly she couldn’t hear, but pulling her closer, encircling her in the warmth of both of his arms.
She had tried to keep a distance between them, feeling that he should  not commit wholly to her.  She was willling to accept that he could leave her at any moment, if his destiny called.  A few hours with him was worth a lifetime with anyone else.  She had known enough men to realize that.  She knew that the years without him would be lonely, but she would have her memories.  Could a person be happy living on memories?   She had no choice.  Or so she had thought at the time.

She turned, running her fingertips across his chest.  It was well muscled, but not muscular, and was her haven whenever she needed comfort.  Laura stiffened, remembering the hurtful words her father had said to her beloved when they went to her parents to announce their engagement.  Caine had replied calmly, his arm securly around Laura’s shoulders.   After they left her house, carrying the suitcase that held all the worldy goods she could stuff into it, they had walked through the woods to the cottage on the temple grounds.   When she finally broke down, he had held her tenderly, promising that they would continue to try to make her parents understand.

Things had turned out so differently from what she expected.   Smiling again, she touched the plain gold band on her left hand, finding the matching ring that he wore, and running her finger lightly over the metal which was warmed by being on his hand.  She turned on her side, a difficult move in her condition, and stroked his body lovingly, with a featherlight touch.  She stiffened, the movement within her startling her yet again.  Her hands went to her enlarged abdomen, feeling the baby kick.  She giggled.
He woke up, startled.  “Laura, are you all right?”  He asked anxiously, holding her close.

“Yes, My Love, I’m fine.  Peter is feeling rambunctious tonight.  He’s practicing his soccer kicks.”

“Peter?”  He asked, still half asleep.

“Our son.  The baby will be a boy, I know it, Love.  And I want to call him Peter.”

“Peter…a good, solid name.  But, I do not believe our daughter will like it.  Petra, perhaps?”  She could hear the smile in his voice, and realized that he was teasing.

“Our baby is a boy,” she said firmly.

“Yes, My Wife, our child in a son.  Peter is a good name.  Perhaps we could call him Peter Matthew, after  my father?”  It was a request, not a demand.  He never pushed, never demanded.

“Peter Matthew Caine.  I like it.”  She settled against him, content with the world.  “I can see it now,” she added teasingly.  “A Shaolin temple of nothing but Caines.”

“Yes,” he agreed.  “I will see that all of our children have training as Shaolin.”

“Even the girls?”  She asked softly.

“If my daughters wish to be Shaolin, they will be taught, as will all of their brothers who wish to learn.”  He agreed.

“Just how many Caine children are we talking about?”  she asked suspiciously.

“It will take a great many, to populate the large temple I will build for them,” he said softly.  His voice was serious, but she could feel him chuckling silently.

“Kwai Chang?”  She whispered, getting a little sleepy at last, but needing an answer immediately.

He kissed the top of her head in response.

“If Peter doesn’t want to be Shaolin, will you be disappointed?”

Caine pondered for a few moments, then spoke slowly, but with feeling.  “We should not anticipate events.  We must accept things as they come.  It is not for me to mind whatever our son does; as long as he is happy and at peace with the world and himself.  He must find his own path.  I wish him to be a man of honor, and I hope he will be happy.  That is all any father can ask.”

“You know what?”  she asked, turning so she could kiss his shoulder, then moving up in his arms until her face was next to his.

He was silent, but she felt his shoulder rise in a shrug.

“I just remembered why I love you.”  Her hands roved over his body, as she spoke softly into his ear.

He remained silent; she smiled as he tightened his arms around her and brought her closer.

“Because you’re you.”  She told him tenderly, knowing she might wait for hours for him to answer.   She knew she needed to practice patience, but the knowledge didn’t keep her from giving in when she felt the need for action.  She made a trail of kisses across his cheek, stopping at the corner of his mouth.

Grinning, he put his mouth on hers, then whispered, “If your memory is so bad, perhaps I should remind you more often.”

“I think perhaps you’d better,” she agreed, breathing a sigh against his neck while he began refreshing her memory.

Later, she woke from a sound sleep, feeling vaguely uneasy.  She lay still, thinking that it was the baby who had unsettled her, but he seemed to have quieted down for the night.  She smiled, remembering how, before going back to sleep, her husband had put his big hands gently against her stomach and brought his head close to whisper seriously, “Goodnight, My Son.  I love you.”

She lay in the darkness, her earlier contentment gone.  She moved closer to him, seeking reasssurance.  There was something wrong, she knew it.  She wanted to cry, but she really didn’t  know why.  All she knew was that her feeling of complete happiness was gone.  At that moment, she wondered if she would ever be happy again.

He stirred beside her, sensing her turmoil.  “It’s all right, Love.  Go back to sleep,” she told him, soothingly.  He sighed and slept again.

Not knowing how she knew, she became aware that her son would grow up without her.  The knowledge brought her pain, but she lay against her husband, assured that her son would be in good hands.  Wiping away the tears before they fell on her husband, she whispered, “You must be strong for both of us, My Love.”  Gaining comfort and consolation from her husband’s nearness, she lay against him and prepared to face whatever had to be faced.  She fell asleep listening to the rhythm of his breathing, secure in the protection of his embrace.

The next morning, the feeling of discord was gone.  She was herself again, happier than she could have ever dreamed.  Shrugging off her unease of the night before as a passing fancy, she hummed while she fixed hot tea and sliced thick pieces of homemade bread for their breakfast.

*** End***

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