AN:  Well here’s the first chapter of POR Lite, these chapters kind of wrap up the story, tie up the loose ends and have a fairly light and fluffy humorous tone.  There still may be a few surprises so keep reading while I let the characters have a well-deserved good time. I hope you enjoy. Some lemon-limey material ahead, beware.


The Price of Redemption

Chapter 21


By Midii Une


Midii sighed in exasperation and shifted in her chair trying to find a more comfortable spot, finally propping her ankle on an open desk drawer.  She was so involved in her awkward maneuverings she didn’t hear the knock on the door at first.


“Come in,” she called.  “I can’t get up.”


Rather she didn’t want to, though it had been almost a week she hadn’t been able to make friends with her crutches.


“Mail for you,” the young woman who made the drop-offs said.  “How’s the ankle?”


“Better, thanks,” Midii said.


The girl waved a flat oblong box, then held it to her nose, sniffing and making a dreamy sound.  “This smells absolutely heavenly.  Chocolate is my guess,” she said.




Midii leaned over and snatched the box.  There was a note attached.


Yes this IS a bribe. Call me NOW!!! ~H~


Hilde. Midii smiled and ripped into her box of chocolates, there was a place on L2 that made the best and the two of them had discovered it on one of their shopping sprees.  She offered the box to the mail girl, who helped herself to the candy.


“Ummm, that’s good stuff. Thanks,” she said.


“Mmm, you bet.  Bye Claire,” Midii answered, licking some chocolate off her fingertips.  The candy had gotten a bit melty during transport apparently but it was still luscious.


She dialed up Hilde.


“Wow you look great!  Where are you going,” she asked wistfully, feeling rather dowdy in her Preventer uniform complete with stunning Ace bandage accessory.  Hilde on the other hand was dressed in a skintight, navy blue leather halter dress. She looked startlingly lovely and the new minimalist makeup style she was experimenting with suited her beautifully, dark liner around her sea blue eyes made them look deep and mysterious while rich red lipstick accentuated the paleness of her skin. 


“Duo’s taking me out. The junk business has been booming, so I forced the issue. 
You know how he is! He never wants to go out and then I end up having to drag him home because he’s having so much fun he doesn’t want to leave. I wish you and Trowa were here to come with us.  It’d be even better,” Hilde said.


“I’m not up for much dancing right now,” Midii said, making a face.


“Soooo? Enough small talk,” Hilde said.  “Tell me everything! You made up of course.  But how was it?  Was it wonderful?  Did you make hot, passionate, soul-searing love in Relena’s king-size feather bed?  Gee, I love when we stay over there.  She and Heero’ve got the best beds.”


Midii looked at Hilde warily and picked up another chocolate and bit into it.  Yuck, cocoanut, she hated the texture. She set it down and picked up a smooth meltaway mint and popped it in her mouth.  Mmmm, much better.  It reminded her of Trowa and the way he tasted, the dark bittersweet chocolate and the cool sweet mint ...


'Well," Hilde whined, snapping Midii to attention and out of her chocolate-enhanced fantasy.  “I can’t talk long. Tell me!”


“I don’t know what to say Hilde, it’s private!  But I guess I can say that everything between us is out in the open and we’re starting over right from the beginning,” Midii said.


“And,” Hilde prodded, grinning with approval at her friend’s starry-eyed look.


“And . . . Trowa’s been an angel,” Midii said, beaming happily.  “He brings me breakfast in bed and …


“…and makes hot passionate love to you 12 hours a day,” Hilde supplied.


“Hilde stop it,” Midii said, but she couldn’t help laughing.  “I think he felt bad about my not staying in the hospital.  He treats me like I’m made of glass. . .


“ . . .a glass he wants to make sweet, savage love to,” Hilde asked innocently, her blue eyes sparkling with mischief.


It seemed Miss Hilde had definitely been perusing the titles in the romance aisle again.  Sweet, savage love?  


Midii glared at the obnoxious pixie she liked to call her friend, usually. “And he defended me when Duo made fun of my technique with the crutches.”


Hilde winced.  “Yeah, I heard that.  Was that really Trowa yelling at Duo?  He’s got quite the vocabulary!”


Midii sighed and blew a stray piece of hair out of her face.


“What’s wrong,” Hilde asked.  “I’m sorry, you know I’m just teasing.”


“It’s not that, but you’re making me think that’s all,” the blonde pouted.  “I’m starting to worry, he kisses me and holds me but it never goes any farther than that.”


“A guy can be too gentlemanly I guess,” Hilde said.  “What’re you going to do?”


Midii shrugged.


“I hate to bring it up,” Hilde said.  “But you’ve got another problem -- Diarmid Walker.


“. . .”  Midii said (or didn’t say)


“Midii! He’s in love with you. He stayed with us on his last mission and all he did was talk about you with this big goofy grin plastered on his cute little face!!”


Hilde made a face that approximated Diarmid’s lovestruck look and Midii groaned.  She’d forgotten the kiss in the bar until this very moment; so much had happened that night and they’d barely gotten a chance to wave in the halls since.  Trowa was always around and she notice that Diarmid avoided her when Trowa was in sight.


“He kissed me that night Hilde!  I feel so bad,” she confessed.  “Why can’t men and women ever be just friends?”


“He kissed you? How was it?  Is he a good kisser,” Hilde demanded, leaning closer to the vidscreen, anxious for details.


Midii blushed. “It was nice, I suppose, I really wasn’t paying much attention.  It was one of those soft little investigating kisses . . .”


“And did you let him investigate,” Hilde asked evilly.




“Anyway you can’t be friends with a man because men are horny and they want it all the time,” Hilde said primly with a saintly expression on her face.


Midii couldn’t help but laugh.  “And we aren’t?  Tell me the truth Hilde wasn’t the real reason you defected from OZ Duo’s big violet eyes and that fabulous hair, not his political ideology as you so innocently claim.”


“Hey! And who are you to notice Duo’s eyes and hair,” Hilde bristled indignantly.  “Aren’t you my best friend?  You’ve been checking Duo out!”


“And he’s got a nice ass, verrrrrry nice,” Midii said with a straight face.




“Just a little payback Hilde, you see I’ve already talked to Dorothy.  She’s been calling constantly for ankle updates and she told me that you’re absolutely DROOLING for Trowa.”


Now it was Hilde’s turn to blush. “Err, I-I was just having fun!!  You wouldn’t want a guy other girls didn’t think was hot would you?”


Midii’s vidcom started flashing.  “I have another call Hilde, can you hold,” she asked.


Hilde shook her head.  “Duo thinks I’m getting ready and he’s a bear when I’m late.  Doesn’t he know it just takes us longer to get ready? Besides we had important things to discuss.”


“Okay.  Thanks for the chocolate,” Midii said.  “I’ll talk to you later.  See you soon!”


“Wait,” Hilde panted and Midii looked at her impatiently. Her vidcom was flashing frantically. 


“As maid of honor I think you should be the one to tell Dorothy she desperately needs a brow wax.  You used to work at a salon Midii—“


“Not on your life Hilde!  Not even Relena’s diplomat enough to bring the brows up with Dorothy.  If Quatre likes her with them I guess we don’t have any leverage.  Gotta run, bye!”


Midii raised her own delicately-shaped brows at the screen.  “Speak of the devil,” she muttered. 


Dorothy had left a voice mail, being patient and holding was definitely out of character, and almost reluctantly Midii reached forward to activate the message.


“I’ve found the answer.  I’m so relieved. You don’t know the anguish I’ve been suffering over this,” Dorothy’s voice announced dramatically.  “I’ve sent Dr Payne, the best physical therapist my research could come up with who was willing to take your case.


Can you believe one doctor refused to drop his entire schedule to travel out there and see someone with a ‘mere’ sprained ankle?  Doesn’t he understand that there can be NO limping at my wedding,” Dorothy’s message continued as Midii blinked in disbelief, suspicion dawning.


“Anyway,” she went on, her voice very much that of the disinherited Romafeller duchess.  “I’ve only just now informed you because I know you Midii and you’d find a way out of this given time.  Your appointment is now so it’s off to the Preventer medical facility with you.  Now shoo, give me no back talk and I believe the facility is in the basement, he’ll be waiting for you.  Ciao darling, and seriously this is for your own good!”


Dr. Payne?  Midi shook her head.  She didn’t need physical therapy and where had Dorothy found a doctor with that particular name?  I’m almost better anyway, she said to herself.  She stood up and took a step.  “See, I’m fine,” she said out loud.  She took another step and then another.  Ouch!


“Damn you Dorothy,” she groaned, reaching back desperately for her chair and looking askance at the crutches.  They were certainly torture devices.  But her ankle was far from 100 percent and Dorothy had obviously gone to a lot of trouble, plus she owed her for making the first gesture of friendship and asking her to be in the wedding.  The least she could do was attempt a little cooperation.


“Okay, I’ll try it, but if he hurts me Dr. Payne’s going to find one of these crutches wrapped around his scrawny little neck,” Midii muttered, her imagination conjuring a mad scientist that had the combined good lucks of Dr. J, Professor G, Master O, Instructor H and Doktor S combined.




Meanwhile . . .


A certain green-eyed Preventer leaned forward on his desk, his nose level with a bottle of pale gold Chardonnay.  His special bottle of Chardonnay that was usually kept safe in his desk, hidden away from Midii’s prying eyes. It was being saved carefully for that very special occasion, if only he could find the right moment.  The moment when he would know that he had done something to make her especially happy.  The moment he was certain that she trusted in his love, trusted in him.


Trowa sighed and leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on his desk, stifling a yawn. He hadn’t slept well since he’d gotten home.  Of course Midii and Cathy’s apartment didn’t feel quite like home yet even though just being with the two of them was what meant home to him.  And the couch he was sleeping on wasn’t really very comfortable.  They had all given him questioning looks when he set up camp there.  But Trowa Barton had embarked on a quest, to win Midii’s complete trust.  And a good knight on a quest always abstained until the goal was attained, didn’t he? 


Wufei and Cathy seemed actually nervous about his choice of sleeping arrangements.  Cathrine seemed jumpy and Wufei was, well, cranky was the only way to put it.  It was as if the two of them had some weird prior claim to the couch or something.  Sometimes Trowa could feel Wufei’s coal black eyes staring holes into his back when he thought he wasn’t paying attention.  It was really odd.  Did they think he was doing the wrong thing by taking his and Midii’s new relationship slowly?  It was still such a novel idea that Cathrine and Wufei were a couple at all that it was difficult to even ponder what the two of them could be thinking.


He needed to talk to someone about his problem and he ticked off the possibilities on his fingers.


Heero?  Did anyone ever really talk to Heero about personal things? Scratch that choice, although he was the closest at hand and involved in a fairly stable relationship and he did have what could only be called an unlikely tolerance for Midii.  Okay, Heero was a definite maybe, maybe when hell froze over.  He’d have sunk very low indeed if he went back to Heero Yuy for emotional advice.  Once had certainly been enough.


Duo?  No.  Simply, absolutely, no.  Duo would be yowling like a hyena if he mentioned Midii and abstinence in the same sentence and he, Trowa, would never live it down.  He actually shuddered.  No.


Wufei?  He had the feeling that Wufei somehow wanted him sleeping in Midii’s bed but he still hadn’t figure out why.  So it was no on Wufei as well.  Too biased.


Leaving only Quatre.  Easy, just call Quatre and ask how many dates he had taken Dorothy on before he felt it was gentlemanly to have sex with her, how many nights tossing on a too-small couch when he knew she was curled up in bed in the next room and he didn’t know how long he could stand it . .  sure, it would be easy … call Quatre.


Quatre stared and stuttered when the question was posed.  He blinked several times.


“But Trowa, haven’t you two already? Well, I mean, you, umm, mentioned it once,” the blonde said, embarrassment choking his voice and a sudden urge to laugh making it even more difficult to speak. The complete seriousness on Trowa’s face helped him keep his hilarity under control though.


“I have to prove myself to her before things get umm, intimate, again,” Trowa said.


“Prove yourself,” Quatre repeated, his voice cracking a bit.  When Midii and Trowa started proving themselves to each other bad things had always happened, at least in his experience.  The fading scar on his arm gave a very definite twinge.


“You’re not going to do something dangerous are you,” he said, trying to glare at Trowa in a poor imitation of Heero.


“Dangerous?  What makes you think that,” Trowa asked, surprised by Quatre’s reaction.


“Oh nothing,” Quatre said sarcastically.  “It’s just that when Midii tried to prove herself to you the city of Brussels nearly got blown off the map and all of us with it.”


“Oh,” Trowa said.  “Midii’s a bit extreme.  This is nothing like that, I just want to find something that will make her happy and show her I care about her.  I know she loves me but she’s told me things and I know that deep down she feels that she can’t count on me.  She’s afraid I’ll turn on her at the drop of a hat.”


“I see,” Quatre said thoughtfully. He could help here, definitely.  When it came to kind gestures he was the master.  “Think of something she’s told you that’s making her sad and do your best to fix it.  She’ll know how much you care.”


“Hmmm,” Trowa said.


“By the way, have you met Dr. Payne?  Has he seen Midii yet?  Dorothy is very anxious that everything’s perfect for the wedding,” Quatre said.  Trowa noticed that his friend looked rather harried and a bit ragged around the edges.


“What are you talking about,” Trowa asked.


“Dorothy sent a physical therapist to ensure that Midii’s ankle is healed in time for the wedding, it’s just around the corner,” Quatre prompted his clueless friend.


“She what?!?”


“I thought it was a very sweet of Dorothy to think of it Trowa,” Quatre argued.  “We all want what’s best for Midii.”


“I suppose,” Trowa said uncertainly, something uncomfortable flickering inside him that he couldn’t put a finger on.  “What’s he going to do to her anyway?

“Something to do with close-contact massage and orbital manipulation I believe,” Quatre said innocently.


Trowa’s face darkened, a muscle in is his jaw twitched.


“Uh, Trowa?”


“Talk to you later.  I need to have a little conference with Dorothy’s Dr. Payne before he lays a finger on Midii!”


Trowa took off without bothering to terminate the connection and Quatre was left staring at the crazy revolution of Trowa’s desk chair.  He’d left so quickly the chair was spinning madly in his wake. Quatre really tried to control himself for a moment before raising his hand to his mouth to ward off a chuckle.  The hand didn’t help.  Soon he was laughing helplessly, trying to catch his breath and pounding on the desk with his fists.


Trowa . . . in . . . love . . . was . . . .so . . . so . . . funny!


Rasid passed by the open office door and hearing the odd noises peeked in the office.  Then he kept right on walking.  It wasn’t wise to disturb Master Quatre when he was laughing like that . . . .




The bandage on his shoulder itched crazily.  Diarmid cautiously moved his arm and the movement helped relieve the constriction caused by the wrappings but also sent a jolt of pain through the angry wound.  It felt stiff when he didn’t move it and it hurt like hell when he did, a double-edged sword.


He’d do it all again though to have back those moments in the woods with her, when she had needed him and held onto him for dear life.


And then you blew it all by playing Mr. Happy Hearts, he muttered to himself.  His big chance to gain Midii’s affection and gratitude for saving her and he’d thrown the ball to Trowa Barton.  Sure it was the so-called right thing to do but in hindsight he should’ve just let the guy make the big mistake and walk away from her.  So now here he was, he’d taken a bullet for her, frozen his ass off in those woods and looked into the crazed face of death and she was even farther out of reach than ever.


He could almost cry.  The whole headquarters was buzzing with Trowa’s transformation.  Next thing you knew he’d be playing a guitar below Midii’s office window while rose petals and sparkles magically fell from the sky!  Basically Diarmid was pouting, he knew it, hated himself for it, but he couldn’t help it.


“I have to go see her and talk to her,” he said out loud, garnering himself a weird look from his office mates.  If he didn’t do it soon he knew he’d never get up the nerve again, not with Trowa Barton lurking around all the time.  Still Trowa had his own work to do and he couldn’t be in Midii’s office all the time.  Could he?  Diarmid decided now would be a good time to go and see.




The basement was like any other basement, quiet and lonely and echoing with creepy silence.  When Midii reached the health facility the receptionist was just leaving.


“Oh good you’re here,” she said.  “We kept the offices open for you and Dr. Payne.  He’s in the therapy room and you two can have the place as long as you want it.”


“You’re not leaving,” Midii said, slightly panicked.  There’ll be no one to hear you scream, she thought semi-seriously.  She dreaded this appointment, not wanting a stranger touching her poor tender ankle.


The receptionist stifled an amused smile.  Why was it Preventers made the worst patients? She dashed out while Midii stared uneasily at the door. She’d been through much worse of course, but that was different than voluntarily going to see someone who was probably going to make her endure painful procedures!


The door stood ajar and the room looked eerily dim, the light flickering strangely.  Midii gulped and squared her shoulders, making her way awkwardly on her crutches and peering into the room.  It seemed empty.


“Good! He didn’t wait,” a self-congratulatory grin appeared on her face as she tossed her hair back over her shoulder and turned to make her escape.  A hand reached out from behind the door and circled her wrist.  Startled, Midii whirled, aiming her crutch where it would hurt a man the most.


“It’s me,” Trowa said, dodging her blow.


“Trowa!  You surprised me,” Midii said, putting her hand on her heart as if it would stop the pounding.  She dropped her crutch in the process and lost her balance.  Trowa grabbed her around the waist and steadied her, planting a chaste kiss on her forehead.


“Where’s the doctor,” Midii asked, looking around the room as he pulled her in.  It was dim and quiet, a few small candles flickered in the corners of the room and there was soothing music playing very quietly in the background.


“I didn’t like him,” Trowa said shortly, lifting her onto the edge of the therapy table and bending down to remove the Ace bandage from her ankle. “But I did get his notes.”


“I see,” Midii purred, deciding she liked this turn of events.


“This is going to hurt a little,” he said, glancing at the paper and testing the swelling around her ligaments with careful pressure from his fingers.


“Rate the pain on a scale of 1-10,” he asked a little uncertainly. 


“Three or four,” Midii said, but she was biting her lip a little. 


He pressed harder.


“Owww,” she groaned, tears springing to her eyes.


“Sorry,” Trowa said, leaning closer and kissing the angry, swollen ankle.


“All better,” she said, smiling weakly.


“We’ll just try 10 exercises today then and maybe a little at bedtime,” he said.


She giggled. “You sound so professional!”


He smiled at her and told her how to push her foot against his hand as hard as she could.  The notes were fairly simple but there was no way he had been going to let that doctor get in this position with Midii.  From where he knelt on the floor he could see right up her skirt to a tantalizing shimmer of blue satin panties edged with black lace.


“Take a break,” he said, pushing her gently back down on the table until she was lying flat, enjoying the highlights the candlelight brought out in her hair.


Make the patient comfortable and massage the surrounding area . . .


No way in hell was that guy massaging any of Midii’s areas.  Fortunately it had taken not much more than a glare to scare the infamous Dr. Payne away , Trowa thought smugly.  His hands lingered on her satin-smooth skin.  She was always so soft and smelled so good, it made him forget that he wanted to wait until just the right moment to make love to her again.  The ‘surrounding area’ got bigger and bigger as his hands explored both her legs, sliding up her calves as she sighed softly in approval.




She must be down here somewhere.  The secretary on her floor had said she had come down for a therapy appointment on her ankle.


Diarmid looked around uneasily.  The place seemed deserted and even the receptionist had gone home.  It was well after 6 and the second shift was much smaller than the full complement of Preventers that worked days.


He heard a soft sound coming from one of the closed doors, but it was as dark in the room as all the others seemed to be.  Diarmid went up to the small square window and looked in.


“Christ,” he muttered.


She looked like she was all alone as she lay flat on the therapy table in the soft candlelight that surrounded her like something out of a dream.  Her arms were stretched over her head and her hair spilled over the edge of the table in warm, golden waves, the light making it glimmer magically.  The black Preventer uniform skirt she wore had ridden up her thighs exposing most of her long, slender legs.  She looked like a beautiful pagan sacrifice and something primitive made him wish he was the god coming to devour her.


Diarmid felt a little light-headed, his mind instantly transporting him inside with her and he was kissing those soft lips again and tangling his hands in her hair.


A figure rose up from the darkness at the end of the table, planting kisses on the inside of her thighs and Diarmid could hear her gasp of delighted surprise.


Trowa. Damn.


Diarmid walked away shakily, face bright red.  The girl was going to drive him either insane or to an early grave.


He heard the echo of Duo’s voice.






Midii raised herself on her elbows to look at Trowa.  All she could see were his sheltering bangs as he bent over her ankle, his hands straying upward with every stroke, a little farther each time until they teased gently at the hem of her skirt.  “Are you done,” she asked a bit breathlessly, reaching to pull him closer.


Trowa cleared his throat and glanced at the doctor’s orders.  His throat felt thick and it was suddenly so warm in the dim little room.


Have the patient disrobe and immerse in whirlpool bath.  110 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.


He pushed her back on the table and stretched her arms out, his fingers twining with hers.  She arched towards him, part instinctively, part flirtatiously.  Her lips were parted and she peeked yearningly from beneath her lashes.


“Trowa,” she whimpered. 


He allowed himself a quick, unsatisfactory kiss, barely applying pressure to the soft pink lips that sought his hungrily.  He was met with a curious scowl when he pulled away and glanced back at the notes.


Have the patient disrobe. . .


He leaned forward again, hearing her laugh softly in her throat as his bangs brushed her skin.  “We’re not quite finished,” he said, finding his voice, his fingers finding the small white buttons of her prim blouse.  He eased each one from its buttonhole as he felt her small foot travel teasingly along his calf as he knelt above her.


The bra she wore was made of the same shimmering soft blue material edged with black lace as her panties, it contrasted dramatically with her pale winter-white skin.  A pulsebeat throbbed quickly in her throat and he leaned closer, cupping the smooth fabric and gently squeezing the familiar softness it contained.  He kissed her again, letting her lips cling to his and meeting her tongue with his as her mouth opened beneath the pressure.  She twined an arm around his neck and pulled him closer.  Midii’s fingers made quick work of his buttons and pushed his shirt back over his arms, caressing the smooth skin over his shoulders.  He squeezed her breast harder, feeling the nipple harden through the satiny covering.


Midii sighed contentedly and pulled him down on top of her, wriggling beneath him until she could feel his erection between her legs.


“Trowa,” she whispered pleadingly.  He disentangled himself from her grip and she rose back up on her elbows and watched him through messy strands of pale hair as he removed his shirt and pulled the t-shirt over his head.  She admired the play of muscles in his perfectly sculptured chest, her fingers aching to feel the hot smooth skin and her body longing to be crushed beneath his weight.  He was stepping out of his black pants now, clad only in a pair of forest green boxers that did nothing to hide his obvious reciprocal feelings.


She was looking at him, her cheeks flushed pink and her lips swollen from kissing.  The black lace bra straps had fallen down her shoulders exposing the creamy expanse of her chest and long throat to his eyes right down to the barest peek of crumpled pink skin that surrounded her nipples.  He slid his hand up her left leg and found the zipper in her skirt with the other, sliding it down with excruciating care and sliding off the black skirt, tossing it onto the pile with is pants and shirt.  Trowa took Midii’s hands and pulled her to a sitting position, pulling her against his chest and kissing her.  His tongue flicking at the corners of her mouth and teasing her as she tried to capture him for a deeper kiss.  He eased the blouse off her arms and tossed it on the growing pile on the floor, circling her slender waist with his hands and holding her close.  Small, deft fingers were slipping under the leg of his boxers and brushing against him now and he jumped suddenly.


Her smile was positively wicked as he struggled to exert his self-control.  Not yet, not here like this. 


“We’re getting a little off track,” he said, his voice hoarse.


“Trowaaaa,” Midii groaned dramatically, falling back on the table, her hair poofing up around her like a pale golden cloud for a second before settling back in place.


“Come on,” he said, picking her up.  She snuggled closer until he started walking toward the door.


“What are you doing,” she squeaked, struggling to get down.  “What if someone’s out there?”


Trowa tightened his grip on his squirming bundle of trouble and leaned down to touch his nose to hers.


“Whirlpool therapy.  And there’s no one here.  It’s all closed up for the night,” he explained.


Midii made a face.


“If we’re all alone, why can’t we stay here,” she pouted, pressing her face close to his and nibbling rather sharply on his earlobe.


“Ouch,” he said.  “Maybe next time I should let Dr. Payne keep his appointment.”


“You wouldn’t do that!  You’re jealous,” she said pertly sticking out her tongue and making herself comfortable in his arms.


“I won’t let anyone hurt you again, if I can help it,” Trowa said, pushing open the door and carrying her to the spa room.


“I love you,” she said, snuggling closer.  “You’re being so wonderful to me.”


“I want to show you that I’m going to always be here when you need me Midii,” he explained.  “I want you to believe in that.”  They looked into each other’s eyes, the strangeness still there as they easily saw straight through into each other’s hearts, no barriers of guilt and distrust blocking the way.


Trowa broke the silence and pressed the button to start the whirlpool.  Steam rose in wispy strands around the room and Midii’s hair curled slightly in the humidity.  “Ready to get in,” he asked.


“It looks hot,” she said warily.


“110 degrees Fahrenheit for best results,” Trowa quoted Dr. Payne.


“110 degrees?” Midii squealed.  “I’ll turn out like something from Cathy’s soup!”


“I’ll get in with you,” he said, stepping into the water.


“Ummm, that is good,” Midii said, settling into the steaming hot water as it swirled about her.  “It’s better than a bubble bath.  I wish I had some bubbles with me!”


She snuggled next to Trowa, fitting herself into the curve of his arm and wondering how or if she should ask the question that was plaguing her mind.  Was he afraid of hurting her?  Was he unsure about the two of them?  Was there some other reason she couldn’t conceive of why he wouldn’t make love to her?


He stayed in bed with her and cuddled every night but things never got out of hand and he always left after she fell asleep to spend the night on the couch.


That must really be burning Wufei and Cathy, she smirked.  Then she sighed, what on Earth could be wrong?


He seemed to read her mind.


“What’s wrong?  Is the water too hot,” Trowa asked, looking down on her.  Her skin was rosy and glistened damply, her hair clung to her moist skin in spots.


“That’s what I wanted to ask you,” she said, taking his opening.  “Trowa? Why can’t we be together like we were?”


“Oh Midii,” he said, pulling her up on his lap and holding her close.  “I didn’t even think to explain.”


He cupped her cheek and pulled her close, kissing her passionately, leaving her breathless.  He nuzzled her neck as his hands slid over her slick body in the turbulent water, their bodies making little sucking, wet sounds as they moved together, kissing and exploring.


“I love you, I want you so much,” he whispered in her ear, feeling her shiver.  “I just don’t want to make the same mistakes again.  When we’re together again I want it to be special.  Soon, I promise you.”


“Very soon.  Promise,” she groaned as he closed his mouth over hers again.  He had come up with a plan at last, he could picture her happiness.  He knew it would work and then the circle would be complete, if only he could hold out.  His stomach was tightening and he ached with pent-up desire.  If he didn’t get her out of here and into some clothes right now all his restraint would be for nothing.


He helped her out of the tub and wrapped her in a terry cloth robe that was hanging on the back of the door.  The huge robe enveloped her small frame, making her look fragile and delicate.  She smiled at him as he dripped haphazardly around the room looking for a towel. 


“What next,” she asked


Trowa glanced at his notes. 


“Ice pack,” he said, fishing the last one out of the little freezer and wrapping it on her ankle.  He wished he had an extra ice pack, he knew just where he would put it.  Maybe he didn’t have to wait, he thought hopefully. Maybe she already believed. . . .


“Happy,” he asked casually.


She nodded.  “Oh Trowa it’s wonderful.  I’m so happy that it’s like a dream.  I’m only afraid I’ll wake up too soon!”


She wasn’t ready.  She didn’t believe.  Not yet.




Safira Winner stared into her compact mirror, her aquamarine eyes sparkling like jewels in her excitement to be free of her smothering sisters.  She pouted, her soft pink lower lip sticking out a bit, then she smiled and puckered her lips, making a kissy-face at herself as she examined her looks in the little mirror.


Her hair was the same color as father’s but it had mother’s length and texture.  The long loose ringlets of sun-streaked brown framed a pretty round face with perfect ivory skin tinged with pink on her dainty cheekbones.  Lush dark brown lashes framed her eyes, which were the same shade as her younger brother’s.  They were only six months apart in age.  Safira had been the last of the Winner daughters and shortly after she was conceived her parents had decided to take the plunge and try natural childbirth.


She snapped the compact shut and leaned back in the shuttle seat, her pretty face momentarily shadowed with sadness.  Like Quatre she had never known her mother and in the excitement over the birth of the heir she had been all but forgotten by Father.  Her sisters had treated her like a little doll though and she had grown up sheltered and pampered while Quatre had traveled the world and lived the exciting life of a Gundam pilot.


Now her little brother was getting married and she’d hardly been out of the house!  It was truly unfair.  But Safira was cheerful by nature, and bore her brother no ill will.  She only wanted to get out and live.  And volunteering to help his fiancée put the last touches on the wedding plans was the perfect excuse.


Of course they had no idea she was coming.  She’d left a terse note on her oldest sister Yasmina’s pillow and set out on her grand adventure.  Something was waiting for her out there, her romantically-inclined heart knew it.  Maybe it was love?  She shivered pleasurably.  Her brother would have lots of friends at his wedding.  All of them handsome, heroic Preventers just dying to sweep a rich, pretty girl like herself off her feet.




Next time on POR Lite ^_~ . . . the wedding day approaches . . . Trowa uncorks the wine . . . Safira lives it up.


Chapter 22