A New Life

By Jessica Jean Dickson

Cassy sat on the airplane staring out the window, closing her eyes. She wanted to shut out the world before her, since her life ended with four simple words. I never really loved you. Those words hit her as though she'd been shot. She knew that Tom was angry, but she'd never imagined why he would say something like that to her.

"Why, Tom? Why?" She let a single tear slip down her face. Closing her eyes again, she remembered the last words she'd spoken to him.

She stood in the doorway listening to her partner confessing his story about love, lost, and betrayal. She didn't make a sound until he spotted her in the doorway. The look on his face was one of pain and sadness. A look she knew all to well.

"Cass, we need to talk."

She looked at him with an icy stare. "Enough's been said. Let's just leave it at that." She turned to walk away.

He went towards her, trying to stop her from leaving. "No, it hasn't." He swallowed nervously. "What…What I said to you back on the island, I…I didn't mean it."

She turned to face him, the icy stare was back. "You didn't mean it?"

He involuntary cringed at that look. "As god as my witness, I didn't mean it." He took a deep breath trying to fight his rising emotions. "So…so, where do we go from here?"

"I don't know." Turning, she walked away.

She opened her eyes. "I know where we go from here, Thomas. I'm going as far away from my past as possible." She continued to look out the window.

Xxxxx

Tom watched the sun rise from his window, rubbing his left arm. It hurt like hell, but it wasn't that pain he felt. It was the empty feeling in his heart. The pain he'd caused his partner and best friend was too great.

"I'm so sorry Cass. I really didn't mean it."

Tell her. Tell her how you feel. His heart cried out.

"I don't know if I can." He answered to himself. He'd remembered the look on her face. A look of pure coldness, as though her emotions were just frozen. He knew he was the reason for that look.

"I know I caused you pain, Cass. I know I was the one who didn't listen when you tried to tell me the truth. Instead, I lashed out at you and said something I will truly regret." Turning away from the window, he headed towards the door. "I have to tell you how I feel." He left.

When he got to Cassy's house, he'd noticed something was different. He didn't know what, but something was indeed different. Reaching for the doorknob, he found it unlocked. "That's odd. Cassy never leaves her door unlocked." Entering the house, he adjusted his eyes against the dimly lit room, and found a note address to him on the counter. He went over towards the counter and read it.

Tom,

I have gone back to Texas to be by myself, to clear my head about me and us. I don't know when I'm coming back and or maybe if I'll ever come back. Don't try to come after me, but knowing you, you will. I know there are things left unsaid between us, but I don't know if I can handle anymore pain inflicted on us. I'm sorry Thomas for everything. I think we should've never met and none of this would have happened. Take care of yourself.

Cassy

Tom set the note on the counter. "What have I done?" He looked down at the note. "I'm so sorry Cassy. I'm going to set things right between us even though you don't want to hear it. You're not going to runaway from us again." He left the house.

Xxxxx

"Cassy!" Claudia cried out as she saw her sister enter the airport.

"Claudia!"

The two sisters hugged each other tightly. Claudia let go of her, so she could breathe.

"So, how was the flight?"

"It was fine. How have you been?"

She's holding back something. "Just great. The baby is doing great and Steven is doing wonderful. He can't wait to see you." She hugging her once more, she added, "Let's go get your bags and take you home."

"Okay, let's go." They walked towards the baggage claim and then left the airport.

Xxxxxx

"So, what brings you here sis?" Claudia asked casually.

Cassy looked up. "I just need to get away that's all. You know a vacation. Cops can have vacations too."

She's definitely holding something back. "So, why didn't you bring Tom?"

Cassy just froze.

"Cassy? Are you all right?"

She didn't answer as tears began to well up in her eyes.

Claudia pulled up to the driveway and shut off the car. "We're here." They got out of the car, heading towards the house. Cassy wiped her tears away before she saw Steven at the front door.

"Hey Cassy," Steven hugged her. "It's good to see you."

"It's good to see you too."

Motioning towards the door, he asked, "Shall we go in?"

Cassy gathered up her bags. "Let's go."

They entered the house and Cassy followed her sister down the hallway. She stopped in front of the guestroom. "Here's your room, Cassy. Why not you get some rest and I'll come get you for dinner in an hour or two."

"Thanks, sis. I'll think I'll do that." Entering the room, she shut the door.

"Call me if you need anything?" Claudia turned heading back towards the living room.

"Is she going to be okay?"

Claudia sat down. "I don't know, Steven. I really don't know." She remembered how Cassy reacted when she'd mentioned Tom. "You should've been in the car with us. One moment we were all endless chatter and then when I mentioned Tom, she just…she just shut down."

He looked at her curiously. "What do you mean shut down?"

She shrugged. "I don't know. I think something happened between them and she's holding it back. Every time I ask her a simple question about something she just gives me a short reply."

"Didn't she do this during the divorce?"

"This is something totally different. Something happened between them and it really hurt her. When she called me on the phone and asked me if she could stay with us for a while, I was so excited, but I sensed another reason. I think that reason is Tom. Cassy isn't the type to run away from her problems."

"But she ran away from her marriage."

"I know that and I think they both just rushed into it and weren't ready to face a lifetime commitment, but I know they handled their differences," she pointed towards the door, "and now this. I don't like seeing my sister in pain." Tears began welled up in her eyes. "Mom inflicted so much pain on her and just tears me apart to see her like this now."

Steven gathered her into his arms. "We'll get through this. She's made it this far."

Claudia looked up and smiled. "I really love you, Steven, you know that."

"I love you, too." Their lips met. "Let's just give her time." They held onto each other.

Xxxxxx

Tom walked into the station, heading towards the captain's office. Knocking on the door, he entered.

Harry looked up at his detective and smiled. He'd been reinstated just like Tom. It made him feel good to be back in command. He'd sacrificed his career to help one of his own, someone he would be honored to call a son, and he would do it again in a heartbeat. He snapped out of reverie and looked up.

"What can I do for you, Thomas?" He studied Tom's features carefully as he stepped further into the office. Something's up I just know it. He hasn't looked like this since the divorce. Even that was bad.

Sitting down in the chair, Tom cast his eyes down. "Harry, I would like some personal time off?"

Harry studied him more. "Is this about Cassy?"

Tom looked up. "How did you know?"

Harry got up from his chair, sitting down in the other chair. "She'd told me she was leaving. I knew something was up when she got back from the island because she was very quiet. It looked like she was in pain."

Cassy walked into the station, heading towards Harry's office.

"Cassy, are you all right?"

Cassy shook her head. "Yes, I'm fine. I found Tom. We were right. He's on the island."

"Oh, good. Did you talk to him?"

Oh, yeah I talked to him. "Yes."

"And?"

"Nothing, Harry. Nothing at all."

He looked at her seriously. "Cassy, is there something you're not telling me?"

"No, Harry." She got up and left.

Harry watched her go. What did you do to her, Thomas?

Harry's voice turned serious. "What did you do to her, Thomas? I want to know."

Tom looked back down at the floor. "I said something to her that I shouldn't have said. Something that cause her a great deal of pain."

Now, we're getting somewhere. "What did you say to her?"

Tom swallowed nervously. "I said… I said I didn't really love her."

Harry was shocked. "You said what! I can't believe you! After everything you two have been through you said that to her."

"I didn't mean it. I was angry and I lashed out at her. She's was just trying to tell me the truth about everything and I didn't want to listen. I said the only thing that would cause her pain and it worked. She's gone."

He placed a hand on his shoulder. "Tom. Look at me." Tom lifted his head. "What you said to her on the island, was not lashing out, it was the fact you didn't want to face the truth. I know Virginia pushed all the right buttons, but you were so in love with her that the truth didn't matter to you.

"Cassy was willing to give up everything for you and she did. Now, you've realized that and she'd left. I know there are things that were left unsaid between you and her, so I'm giving you the chance to fix this and tell each other how you feel."

"What do you mean?"

"I'm going to tell you where she went."

"I know where she went Harry. She'd left me a note at her apartment saying that she went back to Texas."

Harry smiled. "But did she mention where in Texas?"

Tom shook his head. "No."

"I know she's going to kill me for telling you this, but she went to Claudia's ranch in Houston."

Tom smiled. Well, at least she didn't go to her mother's. "Thank you, Harry. I know how much she means to you."

"You mean the same to me too, Tom. I love you two like you were my children and that means a lot."

Tom got up, hugging him. "Thank you, Harry."

"You're welcome, Thomas. I want you to talk to her and fix this."

Tom left.

Xxxxxx

Cassy woke up from her nap. She looked at herself in the mirror and still saw the shadows that hid beneath her eyes. I've got to get some more sleep. She put on little bit of makeup to cover them. Opening the door, she headed towards the kitchen. She spotted Claudia and Steven fixing dinner, while the baby was sleeping in the bouncer0. She sat down in one of the chairs and watched them. Claudia stopped what she was doing. She heard the baby crying. She went over and picked up the baby. She spotted Cassy sitting down at the table. She sat down in the chair next to her.

"Have a nice nap?"

Cassy smiled. "Yes, thank you. So, what are when having for dinner?"

"Oh, just a salad, rice, and a roast."

"Sound's good."

"Want to hold the baby?"

"Sure."

Claudia handed her the baby.

The baby reached her tiny hands towards Cassy's hair. Cassy smiled and the baby smiled back. She loved the attention she was getting.

"Did you and Tom ever talk about having children when you were married?" She tried to stop the words before she could say them, but they just came out.

Cassy smile faded and she handed back the baby. She got up and left.

Great, Claudia. Way to go. She turned to her husband. "Steven, will you watch the baby?"

Steven put down the knife and went over to his wife.

"Give me the baby." Claudia handed him the baby and left to go after Cassy.

"Cassy, wait." Grabbing onto her arm, she turned Cassy around. She saw the tears running down her face.

"Cassy, tell me what happened. Every time I mention Tom, you just shut down. Please Cassy, tell me."

Cassy took a deep, shuddering breath. "I…I don't think I can."

Claudia sat down on the couch. Cassy sat down beside her. "Cassy, I'm your sister, remember. You can tell me anything."

Cassy looked at her. "Not this time."

"Cassy, please tell me. I'm not letting you off this couch until you tell me what's going on with you and Tom. I haven't seen you like this since the divorce. What happened between you two?"

Cassy took another deep breath to gather up her courage and to fight her rising emotions. "All right I'll tell you. I can't keep this inside any longer."

Reaching over, Claudia grabbed one of her hands. "I'm here for you, Cassy." She gave it a gentle squeeze. "You can tell me."

She looked at her sister and knew that she was right. "Tom was being investigated by IA because he was accused of shooting a man in cold blood."

"What? I know Tom he wouldn't do that."

"I knew that, so that's why I did a little investigating on my own and with Harry's help. I'd found out that his new girlfriend was scamming young, rich guys who had powerful connections. She discovered somehow that Tom was a cop and decided to bait him."

Claudia looked at her curiously. "But Tom is very smart. He should've seen it coming."

Cassy shook her head. "I know that, but Tom fell head over heels for this woman. He even asked for my blessing for them to get married in a way." That was even horrible. "Anyway, I found out where Tom was and went after him." She looked back down at the floor.

"Cassy, what happened? Tell me. I want to know."

She looked back up at her. "I found out that Tom maxed out his credit card on an off shore island casino. I found what room he was staying at and when I got there he was lying on the floor unconscious.

"I helped him up and he looked horrible, like he hadn't slept in days or for that matter eaten. I tried to tell him what I found out, but we…we had a huge argument." She got up, heading towards the window. Claudia got up, following her.

"Tell me what happened, Cassy."

"I don't know if I can." She sniffed.

"Tell me Cassy. Please. This is really tearing you apart."

Cassy took another deep breath. I don't want to say those words again. I don't want to. But I have too. "He…He told me he never really loved me. He flat out and looked me in the eyes and said those words to me." She spat out.

Claudia stood there, shocked. She couldn't believe what she just heard.

"You really want to know something else, I think he was right." She put her head in her hands.

Claudia gathered her into her arms and let her cry. "I don't think he really meant that, Cassy. He would've never married you if he meant that."

Cassy looked up at her sister. "But he said it anyway. He just said it. It was like he ripped my heart from my chest and stomped on it, just like mom."

She lifted Cassy's face so she could look at her. "Cassy, Tom would never do that to you and you know that. He's not like mom at all. He wouldn't be your friend after everything that you two have been through if he was like mom."

Cassy smiled. "You really think that." Her smiled then faded. "But tell me why he would say something like that."

Claudia walked her over by the couch. They both sat down. "Cassy, people put up defense barriers to protect themselves from the truth. That's exactly what Tom did. He put up the only barrier to shut you out and then tell you something that would truly hurt you.

"You know Tom, Cassy. He was angry and hurt and he did the only thing he knew how to shut himself off from the world and I suppose that meant hurting you in the process."

Cassy cast her eyes down. "I understand everything now. I guess no one loves me except for you."

She put a hand on her shoulder. "Tom loves you too. You must believe that."

Cassy got up and headed towards her room. "I'm not really hungry right now, but save me some dinner okay."

She smiled. "Okay."

Cassy walked down the hallway, entering her room.

Claudia watched her leave. "You must believe that he still loves you, Cassy. You must believe that." She got back up, heading towards the kitchen.

Xxxxxx

Tom sat on the airplane looking out of the window. I hope you will listen to me, Cass. What I said to you, I didn't mean it. I hope you understand that.

The pilot speaking over the intercom broke his thoughts. "Ladies and Gentlemen may I have your attention please. We are experiencing some technical difficulties and we have to make a emergency stop."

Tom looked up at the ceiling in disgust. "Great, just great."

The plane made a rapid descent. Tom heard the passengers screaming and the children crying. Please God don't let me die. The plane started jerking violently as it fell from the sky. Tom's head hit the seat in front of him and the world went black.

Xxxxxx

Claudia and Steven were watching the news when Cassy walked in the living room, sitting down beside them.

Claudia turned to her sister. "Feeling better?"

Nodding, Cassy turned her attention to the TV screen. Her face paled as she listened to the news reporter.

"We just got a report that Flight 225 from Palm Beach just crash 20 miles from Houston International Airport. Reports are sketchy at this time but we know that Srgt. Thomas Patrick Ryan from the Palm Beach Police Department was on that flight. Ryan is a highly decorated officer who was recently reinstated from a pending investigation."

Claudia looked at her sister. She saw the look of horror on her face. "Cassy, you okay?"

Cassy ran to her room, grabbing her coat, heading towards the door. "Claudia, give me the keys now!"

Claudia grabbed the keys from the table, throwing them at her. "Be careful, Cassy."

Cassy ran out the door and drove off. She turned on the radio to listen more about the plane crash.

"We've just gotten more word that emergency crews have made it to the scene to look for survivors. That's all we have at this time. We'll report back to you if we get more information."

Cassy turned off the radio. Don't you die on me, Thomas! Don't you dare die on me. She stepped harder on the gas.

Xxxxxx

First thing to enter Tom's foggy mind was to panic, but his police training kicked in. He looked at the scene before him and started to remember where he was. I'm on a plane. Okay, Ryan, what next? He brought a hand to check his head and it came back wet and sticky. Oh, no. This is not good. He looked down and found his legs trapped underneath the seat in front of him. They began to throb intensely, causing him to moan in pain.

He started coughing violently as smoked filled his lungs. Please, God, get me through this. Cass, I need you. His eyes drifted closed and the world went black once again.

Xxxxxx

Cassy drove up to the scene of the crash and got out of the car. She saw what was left of the plane. Oh my god!

The plane lay in two separate pieces on the desert floor.

Closing her eyes, she sent a silent prayer to her partner. Oh, god, Thomas. Please be alive. She walked up to get a closer look and hopefully she could help. A tall man, who was in front of the police line, stopped her.

"Miss, you can't go there. Only authorized personal are allowed."

Cassy reached inside her jacket pocket, pulling out her badge. Good thing I brought this along. "I'm Srgt. Cassandra St. John of Palm Beach. Tom Ryan is my partner."

The officer didn't budge. "I'm sorry, miss. But you can't go through there."

Cassy nodded. "I understand. Did they find any survivors yet?"

The officer shook his head. "No, they haven't. They just went inside the plane to look."

He's dead. Oh, god, Thomas. Please be alive. "I'm going in there." She brushed passed the officer, heading towards a man who was in charge. She flashed her badge.

He looked at her curiously. "You're a long way from home, Srgt. St. John. You have no juristriction here."

"Srgt. Ryan is my partner. I want to help."

"I understand your courage, but there are other people inside there beside you partner. We have to move as fast as we can to get those people out." He issued orders to one of his officers, turning back to Cassy, he ordered, "Now, if you stand over there, I'll let you know we've found him or not. Now, excuse me. I have work to do."

He walked over to his officers with Cassy right behind him. "David, are you going in again?"

The young man nodded.

"One…Two…Three!" David entered the smoking airplane. Cassy watched him go in. Please be alive, Tom. Please God let them find him.

David couldn't see a thing inside as the smoke rose up from the cockpit and the passenger sections. He saw the other officers getting men, women, and children from their entrapments. He continued to walk up to the third row of seats when he spotted him.

"David, I found someone!" one of the officers called out.

David rushed over to his position. "Okay, we're going to have to lift this off him."

Tom heard the voices. Opening his eyes, he looked towards them.

"It's going to be okay, sir. We're going to get you out. Just hang in there."

Tom eyes closed again.

"Sir! Let's get this off him."

"Okay, on three; One…Two…Three!" They lifted the seat off him and saw the extent of Tom's injuries. The bone in leg was showing and it was cracked in half. David carefully put Tom over his shoulder in a fireman's carry and carried him out of the plane.

Once out of the plane, David lay Tom on the ground gently.

"Tom!" Cassy rushed towards him.

"I'm going back in."

"Thank you, officer. I'll stay here with my partner. Good luck. I hope the others are safe, too."

"I hope he'll be all right." Turning, he went back to assist with the others.

"Cass, help me." Tom's voice was hoarse from the smoke he inhaled.

She turned to look at him. "I'm right here, Tom. Everything's going to be okay."

He closed his eyes against the pain. "Head hurts."

Cassy gently lifted his head, placing it in her lap. "Better?"

"Yeah."

The EMT was now there with them.

"Miss, we'll take it from here."

Cassy looked at him. "What hospital are you taking him?"

"He's going to be air lifted to Houston Memorial. You can meet him there."

"Thank you."

They lifted Tom up, placing him carefully on the stretcher. They walked him over towards the awaiting helicopter. Cassy went over towards her car and sped off to the hospital.

Xxxxxx

It'd been two hours since Tom arrived in the hospital. Cassy called Claudia and she met him there within a few minutes. They now were waiting for anyone to tell them of Tom's condition. A woman walked into the waiting room and saw the two women sitting there.

"Are you here for Mr. Ryan?" she asked.

Standing, Cassy nodded. "Yes."

"I'm Dr. Robertson. I've been treating Mr. Ryan since he was brought in."

"How is he?"

"Well, he sustained a really bad concussion and his leg is broken." She glanced at her clipboard. "The injury in his shoulder needed to be re-stitched. I'm worried about the head though, so that's why we're going to monitor him for the next couple of days because of his history of head trauma.

"We're going to taking this very seriously. I've been in touch with your Captain. He's going to be down here in a few hours. I was able to get in touch with is parents but they're unable to catch a flight due to a huge blizzard."

"I'll keep them informed." Cassy answered.

"I know you will, Srgt."

"When can I go see him?"

"He's still in observation, but I'll have a nurse come get you when we move him into a private room."

Sitting down in a chair, Cassy looked out the window. "Thank you, doctor."

The doctor looked at her, turning, she said, "He'll be alright. He's very lucky to be alive." She left.

Cassy watched her go. She turned back towards the window. Yeah sure, lucky. Oh, Tom, why do you get yourself into these things.

Xxxxxx

Standing on the edge of a cliff, Tom looked down towards the bottom. He saw himself and the people that he'd loved staring up at him, but one face wasn't there.

"Cassy."

Turning around, he saw her behind him. He tried to run to her, but she faded away.

"Cassy, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."

She reappeared again, but this time distant and cold-hearted. "You stand there telling me you didn't mean it, Thomas." She snickered. "Look at you. You're pathetic. I should be the one saying how could I ever really love 'you'?"

Tom sagged to the ground. "Cassy, you know I didn't mean it. Why don't you believe me?"

She snickered again. "You want to know why I don't believe you? You took everything we hold dear and destroyed it by saying that to me. I loved you, even married you, divorced you, and then became your partner again. After everything we'd been through you had to say that to me." She turned to leave. "Goodbye, Thomas." She faded away.

"Cassy!" He shouted, but to no avail. She was gone. He got up, headed towards the edge, and looked down. "I'm sorry, Cassy. It's my fault. It's all my fault." He plunged over the edge.

Xxxxxx

"Come with me, Srgt." A red headed nurse said.

Cassy got up from her chair and turned to her sister. Claudia hugged her.

"I'll stay her and wait for Harry and Steven. Go, I'll be here."

Turning, she followed the nurse.

They walked down a long corridor, stopping in front of one of the rooms.

"You're partner is in there. I'll be back in a few minutes." She left.

Cassy opened the door, entering the room. She saw the bandage around Tom's head and the cast around his leg. She'd remembered the doctor's words. Spotting a chair beside the bed, she sat down. She grabbed one of his hands, placing it in hers.

"Oh, Tom. Why do you get yourself into these situations?" She let the tears stream down her face. "Why?"

Cassy? No, it can't be, but it sounds like her. "Ca…Cass."

Cassy leaped out of her chair. "Tom?"

"Do…Don't go."

She squeezed his hand tighter. "I'm not going anywhere, Tom. I'm right here."

Tom tried to open his eyes, but he couldn't.

Cassy saw him trying, deciding to encourage him, she said, "Come on, Tom. Open those eyes for me. Please, let me know that you are okay."

The heart monitor went flat.

"Tom!"

The duty nurse shoved her aside. "Code Blue stat!" She turned to Cassy. "You've got to leave now!"

Cassy left the room, running to the waiting room.

"Cassy, what happened?"

Cassy looked down the hallway. "He spoke to me and then he…he flat lined."

Claudia pulled her into a hug. "He'll make it, Cassy. He's strong and a fighter."

She held onto her tighter. "I hope you're right."

Xxxxxx

Tom fell down towards the bottom. He saw his life flashing right before his very eyes; his life as a football star, his life as a cop, and his life with Cassy.

"Cassy, I'm sorry."

"I know you are, Tom."

Turning, he saw her falling down with him. "Cassy?"

She smiled. "Yes, Tom. It's me. I'm here with you."

"But you said you didn't want anything to do with me."

"I understand now that you didn't mean what you said. You were scared of the truth. I truly understand that now."

"You do?"

Nodding, she smiled. "I do, Tom."

He landed on a ledge. "Oh, Cassy. What have I done?"

Turning to walk away, she motioned, "Follow me, Tom. You can explain everything to me."

Tom followed her into a faint light.

Xxxxxx

"Cassy?"

Turning around from her sister's embrace, she saw her captain standing inside the waiting room with Claudia's husband. She rushed up and hugged him. Steven went to stand beside his wife.

"You told him where I was, didn't you?"

Harry nodded. "Yes, I did. Now, I wish I hadn't."

"Its not you're fault, Harry. You didn't know this was going to happened, but I'm glad you're here." She hugged him again.

"Srgt. St. John?"

Turning around, they saw Dr. Robertson standing in the doorway.

"How is he?"

"He's back with us again. You can follow me and you can see him again, but only for a short time."

"Have you gotten in touch with his parents?"

Shaking his head, Harry replied, "They're still stuck in Boston. I'll keep them informed."

"Okay, let's go."

They left.

Harry watched her leave. He turned back around to face Claudia. "How's she doing?"

Claudia sat down. "She's okay considering what she and Tom have been through."

"Did she tell you happened between them?"

She nodded. "Yes, she did."

"Well, now the truth is out I suppose. I'm going to call the Ryan's and my wife to inform them that Tom's doing some what better." He turned to leave.

"Harry, wait."

He turned around.

"Do you think that they'll solve this on they're own?"

"Claudia, I really don't know. Those two are so stubborn that they seem to solve everything just fine."

She smiled. "I know what you mean, but I suppose that's why they love each other, so much that they don't admit it."

"No wonder you're Cassy's favorite sister. If you would please excuse me I'm going to make some important phone calls." He left.

Claudia watched him go. "Cassy's lucky to have a friend like you, Harry."

Xxxxxx

Cassy entered Tom's room, sitting down on the chair beside the bed.

"Well, you're back with us, Tom." She grabbed one of his hands. "I'm glad you are. There's so much I have to tell you." She took a deep breath. "I just don't know where to begin."

Getting up, she headed towards the window. "I guess it starts with the very first day I met you. You were so charming, dashing, and cocky. That's why I fell in love with you I think.

"Then the Jones Case was where disaster hit. We'd let our passions cloud our judgement and one thing lead to other and then we'd married. That was, I thought, was the happiest time in my life, but we'd never had anything in common except for our love for each other."

She let the tears slip down her face. "Then we'd divorced and parted our ways." She let out a small laugh. "You gave me everything in the divorce even your prized Mustang. I painted it red just to bug you. Then I trick Harry into re-teaming us again and look where it has lead us now."

Turning away from the window, she sat back down. "Oh, Tom. Please wake up. I can't take this anymore."

She grabbed his hand again. "Please, I need you." Closing her eyes, she began to sing a song that she hadn't heard herself sing for so many years.

Use to be that I believed in something

Use to be that I believed in love

It's been a long time since I had that feeling

I could love someone

I could trust someone

I said I wouldn't let no one near my heart again darling

I said I never let no body in

But…

If you ask me to

I just might change my mind

And let you in my life forever

If you ask me to

I just might give my heart

And stay here in your arms forever

If you ask me to

If you ask me to

Somehow ever since I've been around you

Can't go back to being on my own

Can't help feeling darling since I found you

That I found my home

That I'm finally home

I said I wouldn't let no body get close to me darling

I said I needed to feel

If you ask me to

If you…

Ask me to I will give my world to you baby

I need you now

Ask me to and I'll do everything (anything) for you baby

For you baby

If you ask me to

I'll let you in my life forever

If you ask me to

All you got to do is ask me to

I'll give you my world

Everything

Everything baby

If you ask me to

Cassy held onto his hand even tighter. She closed her eyes and let the tears fall down her face.

"Ca…Cass-"

Opened her eyes in surprised, she answered, "Tom?"

Opened his eyes, he looked at her.

She smiled. "Hey, Tom. Welcome back."

"Wh…Where am I?"

"You're at the hospital. Don't you remember?"

He closed his eyes against a wave of dizziness. "The plane?"

"It crashed just outside of Houston. Don't worry you're safe now." She got up.

"Do…Don't go."

She bent over and kissed him on the forehead. "I'm just going to go get the doctor."

"I'm right here." Dr. Robertson was behind her. She checked his vitals and scribbled something on her clipboard. "How are you feeling, Mr. Ryan?"

"Ti…Tired."

"Well, you're out of danger to say the least. You gave us quite a scare a few hours ago, but everything seems fine now." Turning around, she looked at Cassy. "Why don't we let him rest? You can come back in the morning."

She walked up to her partner and kissed him on the forehead again. "Well, I guess the doctor's kicking me out. Get some sleep I'll see you in the morning."

Closing his eyes, he drifted off to sleep. She left the room, heading back towards the waiting room.

"He's awake."

Everyone let out a sigh of relief.

"Can we go see him?" Harry asked.

Cassy shook her head. "Dr. Robertson said to come back in the morning."

"And I mean it."

They all turned around.

"I want each of you to go home. I'll call you if anything changes." She looked at them seriously. "If I see any of you come back before morning, I'll forbid you to see him."

They all shook their heads.

"Thanks, doctor." Cassy replied.

She smiled. "Mr. Ryan is lucky to have friends like you. I'll see you tomorrow." She left.

Claudia turned to her sister. "Well, sis want to go home?"

"Yeah, I'm tired. It's been a crazy day." She turned to Harry. "What about you, Harry? Do you have a place to stay?"

He shrugged. "I'm staying at a local hotel here, but thank you for your concern Cassy. I'm going to call Frannie and Tom's parents and let them know everything is okay."

Cassy hugged him. "I'll see you tomorrow. Give Frannie my love." She left.

Harry smiled as she left.

Xxxxx

"Cassy?" Tom walked into the tunnel looking for her.

"Right here, Tom."

He turned around to face her. "I'm here."

"I know you are, Tom."

Walking up to her, he grabbed her hands. She didn't struggle to leave. "I told you I'll explain everything and so I am."

She placed a hand on his cheek. "I'm here for you."

He took a deep breath. "I…I don't know where to begin."

"Start at the beginning."

He took another deep breath. "Back at the island what I said to you, I didn't mean it. Really, I didn't. I was angry, hurt, and in pain. Cass, I felt betrayed by all my friends and Virginia. She betrayed me most of all."

He cast his eyes down. "Then when you came to my room and tried to explain everything to me, I just couldn't handle it. I said the only thing that would hurt you. I didn't want that. You've always been there for me and that was how I repaid you."

She lifted his face to look at him. "Tom, I know you didn't mean it. You've always been there for me and I know you were in pain. I've realize that now." She pressed her lips with his. "You'd asked me where do we go from here and I want to go with you."

He kissed her. "I want to go with you, too." They held onto each other and faded away.

Xxxxxx

"Tom?"

Tom opened his eyes, smiling. "Cass."

She sat down in the chair beside the bed. "How are you feeling?"

"Better, but my head still hurts."

"Well, that's what you get for having a hard head."

He laughed, grimacing in pain. "Don't make me laugh."

"Sorry."

"That's okay."

"I told you not to follow me, but when do you ever listen to me anyway."

He sat up. "I'm sorry, Cass. But I had to talk to you. I had to explain everything including what I said back at the island."

"Please, Tom. Don't. I really don't want you to explain yourself to me. I understand."

"No, you don't, Cass." He pulled his free hand to grab hers. "I really need to explain everything to you."

"Tom, please. I really don't want you to explain yourself to me."

"Don't you dare run away from this, Cass. You're going to listen to me." He closed his eyes against the wave of dizziness.

"Tom, are you okay?"

He opened his eyes. "Yes, I'm fine." He took a deep breath and let it out. "Cass, what I said to you on the island I didn't mean it." She was about to protest, but he raised a hand to silence her. "Before you say anything let me finish. I said that to you because I knew my world ended and everything around me crumbled. Virginia ruined everything I'd worked so hard for.

"I knew when you came to explain everything to me and I knew that you knew the truth. I knew the truth would hurt me and I didn't want to hear it. I said the only thing that would get you to stop."

He looked her in the eye. "Cass, I'm sorry that I hurt you. I'm sorry for everything." He gazed away from her and let the tears slip down his face.

Cassy put her hands on his face, turning him to face her. Her own tears were falling down her face. "Tom, I know that you are sorry for what you did. Claudia and Harry made me realize how much we mean to each other, and now I know that I…I love you."

He looked at her curiously. "What did you say?"

"I love you, Tom."

He placed his hand on her face, pulling her closer her to him. Their lips met. "I love you, too, Cass."

Their lips met again.

"Can we make it work this time?" He asked.

"I'm ready when you are." She replied.

Epilogue:

It has been two months since the plane crash and Tom recovered fully. They took it slow for awhile and now the big day arrived. They were going to be married once again. This time they were ready.

Cassy stood in front of him, smiling. She knew all along that Tom was her one true soul mate and now they were going to be together now and forever. They stood in front of the minister and listen to him give his sermon.

"Do you Cassandra St. John take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, through sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, to death due you part."

Turning towards Tom, she looked deep into eyes and smiled. "I do."

The minister turned to Tom. "Do you Thomas Patrick Ryan take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, through sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, to death due you part."

Tom turned towards her, smiling. "I do."

"Now, I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride."

They kissed and a loud cheer was heard throughout the church. They turned to face their family and friends.

"May I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ryan."

They walked down the aisle and began their new life together.

("If You Ask Me To," by Celine Dion from the album Celine Dionused without permission.)

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