WARNING – Rating Change! We finally get to the lovin' in this chapter, though I tried not to make it too, too smutty… enjoy!

To Elizabeth, the ten years Will had been gone in many ways equaled 3,650 nights she had fallen asleep alone. Her days had been filled with her son and her duties, but she had grown to resent the night and the nightmares it had brought.

Now, she had to agree with what her husband had said earlier on their way up to the house – that it had been worth it. To Elizabeth, it was worth those thousands of empty nights alone to know that she and Will could be together for the rest of their lives.

And now, telling from the wildly passionate way Will was kissing her even before he laid her on the bed, she imagined he felt the same way.

They were both kneeling on the bed now, facing each other, undressing each other rapidly with trembling fingers, stealing swift kisses in between. Elizabeth lifted Will's shirt over his head while Will tried to lift her nightdress at the same time, resulting in tangled limbs and muffled giggles. Soon they were left in naught but their underclothes, and Will's bandana. He started to take that off too, until Elizabeth requested him breathlessly to leave it on.

They had fallen back on the pillows now, covered themselves in the linen sheet, and were kissing as frantically as if the world were coming to an end. Elizabeth was starting to feel some stirrings of pleasure ahead of schedule, so she managed to murmur between breaths,

"Will – shouldn't we slow down a little?" Will paused from kissing her jawline.

"Wha?"

Elizabeth couldn't help but smile at her husband, his brown eyes overfilling with a combination of tenderness and wild desire.

"Why don't we come up for air for a minute… make it last longer?"

He propped himself on his elbow next to her, fingering the sheet that was all that separated him from her bare skin. He kissed her again, slower, their tongues dancing in each others mouths, slowing the sensations they felt all over to a gentle tingle.

"I'll try, love," Will murmured hoarsely, his hand gently moving the sheet down, "But it's been a very long time…"

Elizabeth nodded, and her breath quickened as she saw Will's expression when he had her body in full view, only her most intimate of regions hidden by underdrawers. She suddenly panicked a little inwardly as she realized that while Will, having been immortal for the last decade, didn't look a day older than he had been the last time they had made love, she was a full ten years older than when he had last seen her like this, and after birthing a child and a decade of hard physical work, her body was not the same as it had been when he last saw it. Will noticed her apprehensive expression and immediately moved to reassure her, kissing her all the way down from her lips to her navel.

"You've never looked more beautiful, darling," he said softly into her skin, pulling her underdrawers away and continuing his kisses down her thighs. He paused and looked up at her, repeating, "You are so beautiful."

She could barely hear him as she shuddered with every new place he touched, but she understood. She could only tangle her fingers in his hair as he touched her in places that made her sigh and other places that made her bite her lips. Her hands and fingers moved deftly across his chest and over his back, downwards, until they met the fabric of his drawers. She stopped, and he looked her in the eye.

"This is not fair. You're far more clothed than I am."

He grinned wolfishly at her as she pulled them off.

Now there was nothing separating them. They fell back on the pillows, gasping at the sensation of feeling bare skin on bare skin, pressing themselves to each other, beginning to make instinctive movements, their most intimate extremities in close contact. They reveled at the sensation of friction between them, both of them breaking out in a thin sheen of sweat, the heat inside them steadily increasing.

Will moved to situate himself on top of her, sighing as she kissed down his neck and shoulder, tasting the salt on his tanned and freckled skin, feeling so close to connecting their most intimate of places. She felt it too, and she arched her back against him, urging him forward with her legs. She looked up at him, her eyes half-closed with pleasure to see him looking back at her, his eyes asking if she was ready.

"Go on," she gasped, and he did, slowly – they gasped and held their breath until he was completely buried in her, then they both let out sighs laced with pleasure.

They stayed still for a moment, their expressions completely locked to each other, memorizing this moment and how it felt. How after ten years of celibacy and loneliness, this was the reward – the most intimately connected it was possible for two people passionately in love to be.

They started to move, finding a rhythm that quickly brought their passion up several degrees. The heat spread from their nether regions quickly to all corners of their bodies, making them gasp and sigh at every new sensation. Will was breathing roughly into Elizabeth's hair, alternately kissing her cheek as he moved with her. Elizabeth was reveling in the feel of Will's weight on top of her, the delicious friction his thrusts, his moans of pleasure, all of which only aroused her even more. One hand was buried in his hair, the other was dancing over his back, down to his buttocks and back again – from time to time she turned her head and nibbled his ear, kissed his jaw. Their rhythm got faster, and they both breathed heavier, precariously close to the edge.

"Will?" Elizabeth gasped, looking at him in the eye. He glanced back at her and his heart skipped a beat when he saw her expression, though their rhythm didn't change. Her eyes conveyed it all – the pleasure, the happiness, the bitterness, the sadness. Everything had been building to this point.

In answer, he crushed his lips to hers, forming a new and different connection, bringing their arousal up to a dizzying plateau.

When he came up panting for air, he knew he couldn't hold out much longer.

"I…can't…"

So close.

Elizabeth exclaimed into his ear,

"Don't hold back,"

At this invitation, the dam broke. The heat rose and exploded in molten sensation – Elizabeth's passion finally overflowed the brim as Will made his final thrusting movements against her. She cried out his name in utter exultation, holding onto him for dear life as he neared his finish. Hearing her cry, Will's vision expanded in a brilliant white light and he exploded himself into her core, crying her name too in a last, shuddering breath. Together, they felt like they were flying.

Gradually, the heat ebbed away, leaving them breathless and suddenly exhausted. Will collapsed on her and they remained like this for a while, until Elizabeth found it difficult to breathe. She nudged Will, hazily wondering if he was unconscious. When he didn't move, she couldn't think of anything else to do except to bite his shoulder, salty with sweat and the sea. He grunted in surprise and made a tremendous effort to turn over onto his back, breathing as heavily as if he had just run a marathon.

"Good God, Elizabeth," he panted, turning on his side to look at her across the pillow, her eyes overflowing with as much love as he felt. They lay facing each other, the last echoes of passion still making their limbs tremble.

"I love you, Will," breathed Elizabeth softly, her voice catching in her throat, "I love you so much… so much."

"I love you too," he responded, gathering her in his arms, "More than I can ever describe, my darling."

They found a position that seemed natural, her head in the crook of his neck, one arm over his chest, their legs nestled together. They laid like this for a while silently, breathing in the scent of each other's skin, feeling utterly comfortable and at home in each other's arms.

Then they began to talk of things softly, murmuring endearments and professions of their feelings to each other, knowing that this must be a close idea of what heaven was like. Elizabeth looked at her husband, loving every inch of him, thinking of how it could have been like this for the last ten years if circumstances had been different. This sadness, combined with the heavenly knowledge that he was returned to her, that he was here to stay, and that he loved her with every fiber of his being, overwhelmed her so that her eyes began to well up.

Will saw the first tear fall and he wasted no time in holding her close, murmuring that it was all right. Before this day he had only seen her cry twice – when she realized that her father had died, and when Will himself had been stabbed on the Dutchman, exactly ten years ago today. He couldn't bear to see her heart breaking.

"Elizabeth, please don't cry," he whispered, kissing the salty tears away, "Come on, it couldn't have been that bad."

She laughed wetly and kissed him back.

"I just missed you so much, Will," she said, "I didn't fully realize how much until I had you back with me… I'm so glad you're back…" She snuggled back down, kissing his tanned shoulder, her arm still across his warm chest. Will held her securely, his head turned towards hers, breathing in the scent of her hair.

"I missed you too, love," he murmured, "All this time I thought I had the hard job, but you had to raise a child by yourself. I'm so very, very proud of you, you know." He kissed her head. "And so very grateful… for William… for everything."

"When I found out, I thought of him as your gift to me," said Elizabeth sleepily against the crook of his neck, fatigue catching up fast, her breath on his sensitive skin making him shudder, "I don't think I was ever more happy or more sad at the same time."

He gave her a slight squeeze in response, wishing that things could have been different, but glorying in the fact that circumstances turned out as well as they did.

"Go to sleep," he whispered as she yawned against him, her eyes unable to stay open, "I'll be here in the morning."

She sighed and settled into him, her breathing becoming regular. Will reached over and turned down the lamp until the only light came from the silver moon outside. He pulled the sheet up and held Elizabeth again, closing his eyes and drifting off into the warm scent of her hair and her skin, never having felt more comfortable and content before in his life.

They slept.