Missing Years, Healing Hearts... Missing Years, Healing Hearts... Missing Years, Healing Hearts...

Chapter 1

At the Mission Maria laid in restless sleep, tossing and turning... dreaming....

She was in the ocean water drowning, gasping for life.... Ben was no longer in sight. “Help, me!” She cried. “Pleeeasse.... HEELLP!” The angry waves forced her down underneath the surface. Suddenly someone pulled her out of the stormy water up onto a boat. The man looked familiar. She could almost make out his face. At first the sight of his face comforted her then it horrified her. She screamed. He laughed nastily, grabbing hold of her and not letting go...

She awoke sweating and out of breath, gasping for air. “Oh... ah... Not again.” She cried. “Why? Why do I always have this same dream? What does it mean?”

Back at Ben and Meg’s...

Ben and Meg sat together on the sofa, his arm wrapped around her. “Do you think we can really help Maria with her missing years?” Meg asked.

Ben gently stroked Meg’s hair, “I don’t know but I think we should try.” He drew her closer and kissed her forehead. “Right now though I don’t want to think about anything but you.”

Meg smiled up at Ben and kissed him. “You know, I could go for a hot bath. Care to join me?”

Ben grinned mischievously, “Of course I would, Mrs. Evans.” He got up and extended his hand for his wife. She rose and he kissed her passionately then whisked her up into his strong arms and carried her upstairs.

They went into their bedroom and he said as he headed for the bathroom, "I’ll get the bath water ready." He started running water in their garden tub, being sure to add plenty of bubble bath. Afterwards he lit several candles, placing them on the ledges around the tub. When everything was set and ready he turned the main light off.

In the bedroom Meg waited until she didn’t hear the sound of running water anymore. She hollered, “You ready for me?”

Ben answered, “Always.”

Meg entered the bathroom. “Cute.” She laughed. As she joined her husband in the hot sudsy water she looked around noting the many candles glimmering in the darkness. “Wow, always the romantic.” She smiled and kissed Ben. “I love you, SB.”

“And I love you, Dorothy from Kansas,” he replied softly before kissing her again, this time with more passion.

Several minutes later when they pulled away from each other Meg smiled deviously as she scooped up some bubbles and playfully put them on Ben’s cheeks.

Grinning Ben raised his eyebrows and retaliated by smearing bubbles in Meg’s hair and all over her face.

Meg slyly looked around for some ammunition... she spotted a cup sitting on the edge of the tub. Quickly she grabbed it and filled it with soapy water. As she giggled she dumped the water over Ben’s head.

“Oh... so you want to play that way, do you?” Ben laughed and splashed her good.

After rubbing her eyes she said, still laughing, “Okay, okay... I surrender.” She waved her washcloth in the air like a flag then softly whispered, “But only to you.”

Meg gazed deeply and lovingly into Ben’s eyes and they both got lost in that moment. He leaned in and kissed her ever so passionately. After several minutes Meg stood up, as did Ben. They got out of the tub and quickly dried off. Hand in hand they went into the bedroom where they continued kissing and fell gently together onto the bed. They made mad passionate love and drifted off to sleep safely nestled in each others loving arms.

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