Laying awake another night with her by his side felt no different than any other night he'd spent alone. When they'd first gotten together, she was just what he wanted and everything was fulfilling. Now the newness had worn away and they'd begun to run short on things to talk about. Their differences began to surface faster than before presenting themselves with each passing day.

Rolling over slowly as not to wake her, his mind began to wander to a place it often did whenever he closed his eyes. Courtney had never even crossed his mind this much during their three year relationship, but now that she was gone she was everywhere to him. Shutting his eyes to another thought of her, he tried to take his mind back to Grace sleeping beside him.

Just as Austin closed his eyes to sleep, a familiar yet distanced ring came from his cell phone. It took only a moment for him to reach to the table to pick it up and check the caller ID. The instant he saw her name, he jumped from bed and slipped out of the room.

"Hey baby. How've you been?" Her voice was soft and raspy on the other end of the line.

"Courtney, honey, why are you calling me so late?" Glancing back to the bedroom door, he feared Grace might wake up.

"I'm sorry it's so late, but I had to call." A subtle quiver snuck through her calm tone.

"It's kinda hard to talk right now." Recognizing the sound of sadness in her voice he knew something had to be wrong. "Honey, why are you crying? Is everything okay?"

"I'm alright. I can barely hear you." She obviously had no idea Grace was there with him.

"I gotta whisper cause I can't be too loud." Fear began to rise in his mind.

The image of Grace asleep in the next room came to him as he reveled in the sound of Courtney's voice on the phone. He found it hard to believe he'd actually her for another girl, but somehow it never altered their relationship. He and Courtney were just as in love now as they had been before he'd even met Grace.

Austin moved as far from the door as possible to ensure he would not wake her as she slept soundly. His mind was flooded with all the memories from his and Courtney's relationship. He thought he'd lost those memories somewhere deep in the back of his mind--at least he'd hoped he had. There was no reason why he didn't want to keep the memories other than he felt he owed Grace to be true to her. The truth was, he still wanted Courtney.

"I had a dream about you last night." The gentleness of her voice washed over him. "Did you dream about me, too?"

"It's funny that you're calling me tonight cause I was thinking about you. And, yes, I dreamt of you, too." An afterthought came to him. "Does he know you're talking to me?" He knew how things were with Carl. "Will it start a fight?"

"He doesn't know I'm talking to you. Does she know you're talking to me?" Things were different between he and Grace, but the secret still needed to be kept.

"No, I don't think she has a clue." Hearing the sound of her voice again brought back everything he'd been trying to hide since they'd parted ways. "I need to be honest with you, Courtney, because it'll kill me if I don't get it out."

"What is it baby?" The concern she still showed for him drew his feelings out.

"She's in the next room, and sometimes I wish she was you." He knew the news would be shocking to her because of the promise they made to each other when she left. "I know I said I'd move on, but I just can't keep myself from comparing her to you."

"Austin, I feel the same way about Carl." Her feelings had been unchanged and were still as genuine as they had been when they were together. "I guess we never really moved on."

"It's really good to hear your voice saying my name again. It sounds so sweet." A smile came to his face at the fact that she missed him the way he missed her.

"You wanna come over later?" She gave a soft proposition.

"God, do you make that tempting." As much as he knew he should, he also knew there was no way he could deny wanting to see her. "I don't wanna hurt her, but you make it hard to be faithful with the lips of an angel."

"Just one last time before I go, baby, that's all I'm asking for." The pleading tone of her voice gave away the longing she still had for him.

"Alright, just tonight." Austin knew what he was going to do was wrong, but he just didn't have the composure to care. 'God, I can't wait to see you again."

"Meet me in the Crandon Hotel lobby." Her voice was so warm and welcoming. "I'll be waiting for you there." The line went silent.

As he hung up the phone, he passed by the bed room door one last time to make sure Grace was still asleep. He cracked the door and saw her lying in the middle of their bed cloaked in shadows. Moving quickly, he grabbed his coat and headed out the door to the staircase of the apartment building. Austin knew it was only a shot cab ride to the hotel, but he could barely manage the wait.

The instant he stepped to the curb, a cab appeared. He took a glance up to the dark window of his apartment before getting into the vehicle. As they drove down the street, he grew nervous with anticipation. He knew exactly what was going to happen tonight.

A sudden slowing in the motion of the cab drew his attention to where it was stopping just outside the hotel's main doors. He paid the driver and stepped out onto the bustling sidewalk. Taking a deep breath, he crossed through the crowds and passed through the door.

He glanced around the lobby searching for the familiar smile he'd been missing for so long. There had to have been dozens of people in the lobby at that moment obscuring his vision and taking longer to locate her. As he tried to look over the heads of the passing people, he felt someone grab his arm.

Turning his attention instantly to see who was there, he was met with her glowing eyes. She led him quickly into the elevator and up a few floors. Not one word did she say as they slipped down the deserted hallway into a guest room at the end of the hall.

She never bothered to turn on any lights as they moved towards the bed near the window. In the very instant the door latched closed, he let go of all control remaining in his body. Before she could take another breath, his lips we on hers. Their hands flew straight to exploring each other's bodies as the stood in the shadows.

His shirt was the first article of clothing to hit the floor, but it was soon followed by their shoes and her skirt. The passion flaming between them threatened to consume them both. It felt so good to have Courtney in his arms again. Austin could hardly think of what to do as he moved his kisses to her neck and shoulder. Pushing her down onto the bed, his kisses trailed across her shoulders. He carefully removed her shirt and continued his kisses downward.

Shaking himself from the trance he'd slipped into, Austin turned his attention back to the phone lying on the desktop beside him. The silence of the apartment sent a chill down his spine. She had always told him there would come a day when he would understand what she really meant to him, and that was the day.

As he drifted back to the daydream he'd just had, he questioned why she was no longer with him. Thinking over all the good times they'd had together there was no good answer. If he could have had anything in that moment he would've wanted nothing more than for the phone to ring so he could hear her voice one last time.

Austin clung on to the portrait of Courtney and himself as if he was holding on to his own life. Tears came to his eyes as he stared at the silent phone praying to get to hear her voice one last time. The phone never rang. He knew it would ring again someday, but it would never be her voice he would hear. We would never hear her voice again.

A gentle pressure of a hand on his shoulder startled him out of his dream-like trance. Turning his head slowly, he captured a glimpse of a woman resembling Courtney dressed in a flowing white gown. Breaking into quiet hysterical sobs, he remembered the day he watched them burry the one woman he would ever love with all his heart and soul.