Ethan lay staring at the ceiling the clock read 4:30 am he dozed once or twice at most so far. His body is trained to sleep on limited time due to his military training coupled with his PTSD not to mention the stress of the current job. April tossed and turned since she cried herself to sleep hours ago. Every once in a while she would let out a mournful murmur in her sleep. But she always managed to find herself back in Ethan arms safe and protected.

"No please Tay stop you are hurting me."

She mumbled in her sleep.

Ethan opened his eyes from his latest nod. He listened and watched her intently. He knew the most important thing was to reassure her while she was asleep that she was safe and secure.

"April you are safe. Open your eyes beautiful. You are with Ethan not Tate."

He kept repeating that and rubbing her back while holding her hand with his free hand. He had experience with this type of situation, and sure enough she rolled on her back and opened her eyes she pulled her comforter up over her and blinked away her tears. Ethan turned to face her. He had a question he wanted to ask her but it was never easy when he asked a patient this question.

"April I want to ask you something is that ok?"

She nodded yes as she tried to even out her breaths.

"Did he ever force himself on you?"

She folded like a house of cards on a shaky table she didn't even try to avoid the answer. She knew the road to recovery started with 100% honesty with her and him.

"Um yea over the past few months he cared less and less about my feelings and comfort in the bedroom. But today was the worst. I know I shouldn't blame myself but this time I really fucked up E."

"How do you figure that?"

He spoke softly but firmly he saw this too many times to count self-blame from the victim.

She started to explain

"When I am super exhausted I talk in my sleep. This was apparently one of those times. I got up to let Tay in around 1am and went right back to sleep. Next thing I know it was morning. I had overslept I shoot right up to get ready for work and he stopped me telling me that he wanted to make love before he left town. I was telling him I was going to be late but he didn't care. He started with his usual quit that fucking job mantra. As I went to get up again, he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me back down on the bed. He said he had something for me to watch".

She took a long pause in her story. The most he could deduct was she was trying to gather the courage to continue.

Her pause was more about her embarrassment to what her story would reveal about Ethan than what actually happened to her.

"I was too nervous to move while he let my hair go to get his phone off of my dresser. He played a video of me asleep."

"Ok that's no reason to lash out the way he did April why would he record you sleeping?"

"I was apparently dreaming in the video and clear as day there I was calling out for you, and moaning your name in my sleep. I got up out of the bed and I tried to apologize but before I could get it out he threw me down and took what he wanted. My bumps and bruises will heal but you really want to know what killed me inside Ethan? When he was on top of me he just kept grunting in my ear the same thing over and over."

She was not sure how Ethan would feel after hearing her next revelation. She swallowed down the bile that rose in throat and spit it out much like ripping off a Band-Aid.

"Let's see if that china man still wants you when I am done with you."

There she got it out. It was no taking it back now. It was in the atmosphere. Nowhere for it to go but right into his ears. She laid there too embarrassed to look at him, for more than one reason.

He sat up against her head board, silent he knew his response was crucial in their relationship and in her road to recovery.

"April can you sit up and look at me please?"

He asked softly and she nervously obliged her thoughts were everywhere

"Nothing you did was wrong do you understand me? You can't control your sleep process and you know that April this is totally on him. There is nothing you can say to me that would make me leave your side through this or any thing for that matter. I know how hard it was for you to reveal that to me obviously for more than one reason. Guess what I am still here."

He took her hands in his and kissed them softly.

She sat quietly and reflective thinking of something to say.

No matter how hard she tried she couldn't shake the urge she was having being so close to him this way being in her bed all be it not the way she dreamt about when she called out his name but he was there none the less.

They sat in a comfortable silence for a moment. Before he slid back down with her into the bed. They laid there facing each other.

"April I know how important it is for domestic violence and rape victims to regain a semblance of control in their lives. So I want to ask you how you want to handle this situation. Do you want to press charges, get a restraining order, change the locks, or just break it off with him and begin the healing process? I will not pressure you in any particular direction. Whatever you want to do I will be by your side always. That is as long as you want me to I do not want to overstep my boundaries."

Her eyes began to water. His kindness and compassion for her was mind blowing to her. She always knew she deserved better than what she had with Tate but she didn't how she got to this shitty pit stop in her life.

"Please do not cry he whispered."

As he wiped her tears she leaned into his strong hand. His hands that saved lives on a daily basis and now apparently was saving hers. She grabbed his hand as it rested on her face she welcomed his touch it was a peaceful feeling.

She didn't know how it happened or when it did but before she knew it she leaned in and kissed him with all of the passion and emotion she had in her. She dreamed of what this would be like. What he would taste like. How his lips felt as she gently sucked on them with just enough suction.

He couldn't believe what was happening he laid awake at night imagining about her lips her mouth, her touch, how she tasted. He wrapped his arms around her as she pressed her body onto his. She moaned into his mouth. That alone almost pushed him over the edge. She ran her hand through his hair as he ran his hand down her back he stopped right at the swell of her perfect shaped ass.

"April"

he panted into the openness of her mouths

"I have always wanted you."

He leaned his forehead against hers. She bit on her bottom lip as she caught her breath.

"I have wanted you for so long too E but..."

"No buts April"

He stopped her mid-sentence this time he took the lead on the kissing. He held her close to his chest she could feel his sculpted muscles against her body. She panted into his mouth. She pulled his shirt over his head as she kissed down his chest and let her tongue flick over his perfect nipples. he put his hands in her wild tousled hair and let his eyes roll back into his head he was so hard he didn't think it humanly possible to be so erect he knew she felt it through his pants.

In that brief second he regained his senses.

"April he gasped wait we have to stop."

He reached down and grabbed her face and brought it back up to his.

She instantly figured she did something wrong.

"Omg I am so sorry this is so embarrassing."

She rolled off of him.

He placed his finger on her lips.

"You have no need to apologize. Trust me I want you just as bad as you want me. I stopped because I don't want this to be our first time. I want our first time to be amazing and romantic. I want nothing but to take my time and show you how you should be touched and loved. I want you to cry tears of ecstasy not tears of embarrassment and pain. You need time to heal and trust again."

She knew he was right. She curled into his side she kissed his neck and he kissed her forehead.

"To answer your question from earlier I want to get a restraining order for protection and I don't want to go back to work right now it's too many ears and tongues wagging. I will call Maggie in a few hours and invite her over to explain everything and tell her I need to take a leave of absence for a few weeks. Will you stay with me while I talk to her?"

"I sure will babe"

It came out before he could stop it. It was like second nature it felt right.

"April I am sorry I shouldn't have called you that."

"No it is ok I like it"

There they laid in silence until they both drifted off once again.