"I've got to go!" she cried in mock anger as she let him pull her back into his arms for another kiss. She wrapped her arms around his waist and gave him a half-sided smile. "I'm going to end up running into traffic if I don't leave now."

"Would that be so bad?" he asked before pressing his lips to her willing mouth. Her hands slid up his shoulders and around to caress the back of his neck, their velvet smoothness sending shivers through his body. How was he supposed to live a month with out her and what she could do? With a regretful sigh he lifted his head and gave her a weak smile. Her sea-green eyes danced with confusion, and he had to keep himself from laughing smugly. "You have a schedule to keep," he reminded her in a mild tone.

"Oh," she pouted as she stepped away from him, and he reached down to grab her small carry-on bag and nearly yanked his arm off. Heaven only knew what was in the bag that could make it so heavy. Knowing her, it was probably full of a life-time supply of make-up.

"Buh bye," she murmured as she slid into the car. He kissed her again before closing the door for her. With a low rumble, the red convertible came to life, and she rolled the window down to let in the warm summer breeze. She reached out, grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him down for another sweet kiss and pushed him back before backing out of the driveway.

"I love you!" he shouted as she drove away. She hastily blew a kiss out the window before disappearing around the corner. She didn't say she loved him. She never did,but he knew she loved him without having to hear the words.

A deep sigh escaped him as he stood alone in the morning sun, unwilling to move for moving would make her departure complete. If he moved, it would mean she was really gone.

The wind tore angrily at her clothes and grabbed her hair as she sped down the highway, black rag top down. She loved the feel of driving against the wind. The adrenaline sent excitement running through her veins and delight along her spine. It let her relax, allowed her to think, and to forget how much she missed him.

She had been driving for two days, and each minute away from him was torture. Even with her radio shouting music at the top of its lungs, she thought of him. The wind and adrenaline were all that helped her forget he wasn't there, if only for a few minutes.

"You'll help me get through this, won't you?" she asked the small stuff bear sitting in her lap, its soft fur waving wildly in the wind. The ridiculousness of talking to the bear released a laugh from her lips. "I'm must really be lonely, huh? That… and bored out of my mind!" Another laugh was snatched by the wind as she reached over and turned on the c.d. player she had asked him to install for her.

The heavy beat of the music surrounded her and filled her head, chasing away her loneliness. The empty highway stretched before her, an unceasing stream of black reaching to touch the blue horizon. Her destination lay beyond the horizon line, but her destiny and life waited behind her. She was already counting down the days till she would return home, back to his arms.

A heart stopping moment. The slowing of time. A high-pitched squeal of tires. The sharp pain of cutting, slashing glass. A scream of agony. Bright lights. Darkness.

Shouting her name, he sat up in bed. A thin layer of sweat coated his aching body, chilling the fever of fear that had over taken his dreams. Glancing at his clock, he brushed his tawny hair out of his eyes and kicked his legs over the side of the bed.

12:30 am.

He had only been sleeping for an hour at the most, but the dream had shaken him so badly that there was no point in attempting to go back to sleep. Running his hand through his damp hair, he stood up and walked toward the kitchen to find a drink. After that nightmare, he had a feeling he need more than the two wine-coolers she had left behind, but they would have to suffice. Wishing for a beer, he quickly downed the first bottle and gazed suspiciously at the second. "You aren't going to help me with this at all, are you?" he accused even as he opened the bottle and sipped the cool contents.

Carrying the half empty bottle, he walked through the dark, lonely house and pushed through the door that led to his basement gym. As he walked past a table, he laid the drink down and continued forward until he was face to burlap with the punching bag she had bought him for his birthday. The black and blue cylinder silently challenged his strength, and the challenge was met by his fists.

A heart stopping moment. The slowing of time. A high-pitched squeal of tires. The sharp pain of cutting, slashing glass. A scream of agony. Bright lights. Darkness.

She had never been so afraid in her short life. One minute she had been driving along the dark road, and the next she had been blinded by the bright lights of an on coming vehicle that had swerved into her lane. Her heart caught in her throat as she jerked the wheel in an attempt to dodge the truck, but she didn't need to be told there wasn't time to get out of the way. She squeezed her eyes shut as the two vehicles tore into one another, each traveling at top speeds.

Glass and metal ripped at her clothes and sliced into her veins, the warm blood escaping to trace thin, crimson spider-webs along her snow-white skin. Lights danced across her closed eyes, swirling magically, happily, tauntingly, laughing at her and sobbing for her. The cruel darkness chased the dancing lights away, sending a cold chill through her heart as she drifted away from herself, his name on her blood stained lips.

When she opened her eyes, she was standing alone in darkness. Her pounding head ached, and she felt oddly light on her feet. Slowly, her eyes adjusted to the dim green light of the clock sitting on a nightstand; she was in her bedroom, their bedroom, but he wasn't there. The cold, white sheetslay twisted at the foot of the empty bed.

12:46 am.

He should have been in bed by then, though she knew his habit of keeping late hours had probably returned while she had been gone.

But why had she been gone? Her head pounded more fiercely, a rhythmic drum keeping time with her heartbeat as she tried to remember. She pressed her fingertips to her aching temples as she forced herself to think.

Bright lights and darkness flashed across her mind. A scream of agony matched with the cutting and slashing glass invaded her consciousness. A high-pitched squeal pierced her soul, and heart wrenching fear washed over her, knocking her to her knees. A tidal wave of tears rushed down her cheeks, only to disappear the moment they dripped from her skin. Her transparent arms wrapped around her stomach as she sobbed uncontrollably, her body shaking with the force of her tears.

The hinges holding the punching bag to the ceiling groaned in surrender as he continued to vent his furry into the defenseless burlap sack. Adrenaline pumped through his body, pounding in his temples and deafening him to all else. All he cared about was forgetting the dream and beating away his fear. With one last punch, he broke the hinges and sent the bag plummeting to the ground.

Sweat drenched his bare chest and cascaded down his face, stinging his eyes and calming his hammering heart. Short, ragged breaths filled his being as he slowly relaxed. After wiping the sweat from his eyes, he glanced up at the clock hanging on the wall.

12:51 am.

His energy spent, exhaustion over took his mind. Blindly, he trudged up the stairs toward his empty bed.

She slowly rocked back and forth on her heals, her tears slowing to a gentle trickle. She couldn't believe she wasn't real. She couldn't accept her death. She had too much left to do: too many projects to complete, too many experiences to share, too many words to say….

A stream of light washed over her, through her, as the bedroom door opened. A single shadow stretched across the room, his shadow. Quickly rising to her feet, she turned to face him. His beautiful hair was matted down with sweat, and his amber eyes were hooded with weariness. He held his head low as he took tired steps toward the cold bed.

She whispered his name.

He didn't hear her.

He walked past her without so much as a glance. He couldn't see her. He didn't know she was standing in the same room with him. Making him hear her would be hopeless, but she had to try.

She watched as he sat on the side of the bed with a heavy sigh. He bowed his head, his hands folded between his knees, the image of an angel in prayer.

"I know you can't hear me," she began softly as she cautiously approached him. Her feet skimmed the top of the carpet but never made an impression. There was no shadow to reach out to him, no breath of noise. Only silence announced her coming as she knelt before him and looked into his empty eyes.

"I know you can't see me," she continued sadly. "I know you cannot feel me." She gently caressed the line of his jaw, and though she felt as though she were running her fingertips through water, he didn't notice. His eyes remained dull and lifeless.

"I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry," she whispered as she lay her cheek against his knee. "You mean everything to me, even still. I wanted to spend forever with you, but I lost forever for both of us. I…" She broke off into a painful sob, turning away and watching the unmoving floor. "I love you," she said silently, even though she knew he would never hear her say the words she had struggled for years to confess to him. "I love you with all my heart, and I wish I could tell you that now. I wish I could feel you holding me while I tell you how much I love you. I want to tell you over and over again. I love you."

Her silent sobs chocked her to a halt. She couldn't imagine why she would need to breath while dead, but she didn't want to pursue the question. Her fluttering heart ached as she struggled to breath through her chest-stabbing tears.

He could hear something like a whisper caught in the wind, but he couldn't make out the words drifting past his ears. His cheek was cold but only for a moment before the same odd sensation fell to his knee. The undertone continued to rush past his ear and like the waves of an ocean echoing from a seashell, evaded his grasp no matter how he tried to cling tightly to them.

"I love you," he finally heard, but that wasn't possible. He must have fallen asleep. He was alone in the house. Maybe he had left the television on downstairs. As he was standing up to go find out, a shimmer, a trick of the light filtering though the thick air, caught his eye. As he stared at that shimmering spot, the sound of distant crying echoed through the room. The echo became more solid, and the shimmer began to create the outline of a bent form. Her name escaped his disbelieving lips.

She heard him gasp her name, and she held her breath. Could he see her? She heard him draw nearer to her and watched from the corner of her eye as he knelt beside her and murmured her name once more. He extended his hand slowly, as though her were afraid she would burn him or disappear if he touch her. His fingertips touched her shoulder and kept going. She gasped at the odd sensation of warmth penetrating the cold she hadn't noticed until that moment, and he gasped and pulled away in shock.

"Please don't be afraid of me," she begged softly without looking in his direction.

"I could never be afraid of you," he answered as he edged close to her once again. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her form, just floating above her skin. His warmth enveloped her, and she longed to lean closer though dared not.

"What happened?" he asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.

"I…" she didn't know how to tell him. The truth hurt too much to speak aloud, but she knew she had to admit it to him as well as to herself. She had to confess her fate so they could both go on. "I think I was killed."

Her words sent a chill of fear down his spine. How could she have died? She was supposed to be safe. She was going the share a family with him. They were supposed to love each other forever. She was supposed grow old with him.

She gently touched his chest with her cheek, his fluttering heartbeat pounding against her ear. He was very much alive, and she was very dead. She sighed in acceptance and pulled away from him to stand.

The light shone around her and through her, giving her the look of an angel, his angel who was supposed to stay with him. He wanted to grab her and pull her close again. He wanted to kiss her lips and hold her to his body. He knew he couldn't.

She watched the thoughts swim in his eyes as he gazed up at her. She knew he had admitted the truth as well. "I love you," she said once more, "but I have to leave now. You have to keep living for the both of us. Breath for me, learn for me, fall in love for me. I'll watch over you."

"I love you," he chocked out as she began to fade. She gave him a sad smile and blew him a kiss.

At 12:58 am. she was gone. At 1:03 am. the phone rang. He ignored the ringing and climbed into bed. He knew what news was going to be given to him. He would deal with it after getting some sleep.

The bright, summer sun shone during the funeral. White and pink roses covered her closed casket. He held a single red rose in his hand and laid it on top, a sudden crimson contrast to the soft shades.

His dry eyes, though sad and lonesome, held the small spark of hope. He would go on living his life to the fullest. It was what his angel wanted.