AN: B-day/timestamp fic for momm2five, Storm Wake - the next day

Heat and pressure. Not usually a good way to wake up.

But being lulled by the sound of calm breathing and the scent of Elizabeth's hair and skin... More than made up for being held down to the bed under too many covers.

He reluctantly opened his eyes to see a flood of indirect yellow light in the room; like some mythical beach under a caressing sun. He almost expected to hear the surf on the sand outside the window. To see a honeymoon fruit basket on the dresser.

Smiling with content joy, John's eyes were drawn to the hand stroking lazily in the hair over his heart. Every twitch made light shift and flicker on her ring and he reached the fingers she wasn't laying on to gently bring her palm to his lips. He felt her lashes move on his skin and turned his head to meet her opening eyes, laying a kiss on her wedding band before pulling his lips back.

She was still half-asleep, shivering from the soft kiss on her tender skin and feeling so warm, safe and rested... the small smile on his lips as he let her rest her hand on his jaw was as tender as the look in his eyes, and she didn't want to wake up any further, didn't want to move from this perfect instant.

She had to strain to hear the soft words when he finally spoke.

"I love you."