We Left off with Nico planning to wow Dani with dinner. Let's see what happens.

As Nico stands and awaits Dani's arrival he's hoping everything goes according to plan. And then, at that moment he hears the front door and he hears her voice."Hey, Linds, I'm home!" Dani calls. She says something else but Nico is unsure what it is because he's shaking with nerves, but he can't for the life of him think just why he's so nervous. He considered himself a tough, intelligent guy and situations don't usually rile him up or get under his skin. He just takes care of whatever needs to be taken care of. But Dani… Dani has always gotten under his skin and he's always hidden it well.

It was shorty after 7pm when Dani finally walked in through her kitchen door. Placing her purse on the counter she called out for her daughter. "Hey Linds, I'm home!" As Dani begins to walk towards the dining room she's caught by surprise because she didn't see her daughter. Instead as she moved slowly around her dining room table, what she found was a beautifully set table with candles lit with wine on the side in a bowl of ice with the stand. There were two covered dishes and the slender vase that Jeanette gave her a few Christmases ago before she moved away was now sitting in the middle of the table with three long stemmed roses inside; pink, yellow and red.

And there, standing at the other end of the table was Nico wearing a nice long sleeve buttoned black dress-shirt with blue jeans to top it off. He'd put on some soft Jazz music and it was playing in the background. By the time Dani had slowly walked into the dining room and found Nico's handsome face she had tears in her eyes. She was totally speechless as she stood there just looking at him.

Nico gently repeated what he'd said earlier again when she'd first come in. "You are so beautiful, Dani."

Still she stood there not saying anything and Nico slowly walked over towards her and pulled out the seat he wanted Dani to sit on, his eyes never leaving her face. "Please, sit down for me, I got us both dinner." She glanced up at him and nodded her acceptance before slowly walking the few feet before sitting down and Nico pushed her seat in under the table. He went and sat down on his own seat across from Dani and Nico glanced over at her and said quietly, "Dani, I promise we will talk as soon as we're done with dinner. I will give you anything you need and all answers for the questions you have, okay?!"

It wasn't really a question and more of a statement and she brushed them off with a light sweep of her arm. 'Oh, what I want involves no words at all.' Dani silently thought to herself as she took in Nico's attire. 'Damn, he looks sexy in those jeans, and he's got a nice rounded butt. My, oh my, he sure fills out those jeans…' And then she mentally slapped herself. 'STOP IT DANI, this is not what we're doing. We have to talk about a lot tonight.'

As Dani sat conversing with herself, Nico watched her as she battled with decisions. "Dani, I promise we will talk as soon as we're done eating." Nico repeated as he took the tops off their dinner plates to reveal two steak dinners with veggies and a baked potato. He poured the wine into the glasses and finally they picked up their utensils. They ate dinner in companionable silence and sipped on the delicious red wine, their thoughts a million miles away from the delicious food before them. After a few minutes as Dani was midway through with her dinner, she suddenly pushed her plate to the side.

Nico looked up in surprise until he noticed Dani had tears running down her cheeks. She'd truly missed him; missed the togetherness they'd shared before. Granted, they'd only had one magical night together and then there had been the next morning, but she could still feel it all; the love and every emotional moment they'd shared together.

"I really miss you." Dani quietly tells Nico as she fought against the tears.

"I missed you too, Dani, so much." Nico replied huskily as he watched her expressive face. After a moment Nico suddenly pushes to a stand, grabs both wine glasses and then he reaches for her hand and asks, "Can we go and sit on the sofa in the family room?" Dani nods her response as she pushes herself up out of the chair and reaches for his hand and she allows him to pull her into the cozy room and they settle on the plush sofa and prepare themselves for the talk that they desperately needed to have.

"Nico, please let me go first." After a moment passed by as he considers her, Nico nods his head. "Nico, all I know right now is that I can't stop thinking about you, and about the way you made love to me, and how you held me after. Nico, my God, the way you touched me, you made me feel things… things that I never felt before. I mean that, I really, really do. I understand now why I denied us and why I held my feelings for you to myself for so long. They scared me, Nico. That is why I went with Matt. He was safer choice and I thought you were the dangerous one. I say danger, Nico, because you were where my true feelings lay. That's why I ran away from you, until that first time I kissed you/you kissed me. I felt how deep my love for you was and I knew that if I told you how I felt, and you didn't return them back, I would have been torn to pieces. Because by then I was too far gone."

"So, I told myself that I could never tell you how I felt, and then that became my own personal mission to stay away from you and get involved with other men, instead of just going for what I really wanted. Nico, it's been driving me crazy not having you here with me since I became intimate with you" Dani hands lifted from her lap as she tried to relay her thoughts in a gesture, the small helpless shrug telling their own story. "But I can't get pass the hurt and…"

Nico shifted closer to her and whispers tenderly to her, "Come here." Gratefully she moves closer and he gives her a hug, and she in turn hugs him even tighter back. They both sat that way for several minutes until Nico feels her begin to pull away from him, both physically and mentally, her voice heavy with loss as she denies herself the one thing that she wanted. "Okay, Nico, we'd better stop now before…"

The moment they both let go of each other they realize they don't want to they simply stare at each other. Reluctantly it is Nico who moves away first and he shifts himself back to the other end of the sofa. The loss from one another hurts them both, but it spurs on Dani to begin talking again.

"Nico, the way we were together that night was unlike anything that I'd ever felt before with anyone. I mean, with you it was so good. That's how I knew I was yours, or I thought I was." Dani looked sadly down at her hands that now sat upon her lap before looking back up at him and carrying on, her heart now firmly on her sleeve. "It felt so good finally being with you after I'd had so many fantasies about us. It felt so right and we fitted perfectly together. I was so stressed that night and then you came. And it was you who made me relax my mind and unwind. I had waited so long and dreamt so often of you that when it finally happened I knew everything was going to be okay with us, because I was free, and we were free to be with each other…or so I thought…"

"And now…that was why it was so, so hard to give in and give myself to you for fear of being hurt. You, of all people, I knew could do the most to hurt me. I fell hard for you, and…" Dani starts looking around, lost in her misery because she knew she was rambling and the tears had begun to slowly trail down her cheeks.

But as Nico made to move towards her Dani held up a finger letting him know she was not done and as he sank back down she began again "Nico, when I found out that you were married, and are indeed still married, it was like what you and I shared when we made love that night wasn't love, but a lie. But for me, really, being with you…God Nico," Dani began to cry, she cried, ner heart breaking. "I can still feel you at times. What we shared was truly precious to me, and granted, I only had a night with you, and we were up for most of it…and I'm not complaining, not at all. That is why…"

Nico had wanted to interrupt her so badly but she'd wanted to go first so he'd being very patient and listened to what she had to say, even though it was killing him. Some of the things she had said he desperately wanted to wash away because it made what he had to say to her was going to be that much sweeter. But Dani had started talking again so he forced himself to listen patiently, understanding that she'd needed to vent her feelings.

"Nico, since finding out about your wife in the way that I did, I mean, why now? Why just when we had started to have some happiness together, this happens? I've hated myself for giving myself to you. I mean, if you hadn't had told me you were leaving for Dallas that night I would have gone crazy, because I was afraid you'd leave and never come back. You kept telling me to trust you; to put my trust in you. Nico, you already had that. Yes, I had some issues of trust, but it was like you had reached in and pulled my heart and then ripped it to shreds and then walked away. All my life I've fought back, and anyone who knows me can say that about me. I don't want to give you up, but if she wants you back, then I will do the honorable thing and move aside and let you go. Oh, wait!" She said with feigned surprise. "Correction. You were never mine to begin with. We only had that one night and I'm not a home wrecker. I don't go breaking up homes, or marriages, or families. I can't do anything about breaking my own heart, but I can deal with that in my own way. But I will not be the cause of breaking up a marriage, Nico. So if she wants you back, then…"

Dani stopped talking as she suddenly came to the realization that, just maybe, actually, they hadn't broken up. No, he wouldn't have done that to her. God, no! "Nico, did you and your wife ever break up? I mean, have you been going to visit her? Have you been together since us? Have you been together all this time? You are always so on the go, always being secretive and sneaky about a lot of things, Nico. It scares me to be with you and know about…" Dani was crying loudly now, and she had been trying so hard not to break down in front of him. It was painful having him so close, and yet she couldn't touch him the way she wanted to touch him any longer and her arms ached with longing as she fought against his pull.

Finally, finally, Nico took her tears as his cue and went for it. "Dani, please don't cry. I can't take seeing you cry like this and know I'm the cause of your tears. Dani, let me first apologize for not telling you about Alex, and for the way you found out about her. I really never meant for you to find out this way. I should have told you and for that I sorry. True, I've never lied to you, never. Not admitting to you that I was still married is as you always say, is a lie. But honestly, I never saw it that way. I was a fool and I never meant to hurt you though, Dani. And no, Dani, it isn't like that for Alex and, I. We haven't been together as man and wife for many years. Everything I told you in your office was the truth, everything!" Nico told her.

"Well, Nico, we've hit a snag because you lied. You've been trying to get me to trust you and…" Dani told Nico, but was cut off.

"Dani, please, it's my turn."

"Okay Nico, I'm sorry. Go ahead.

Nico nodded and thanked her as he sipped a little wine for Dutch courage and continued. "Dani, the night you lost your fish and I came by with the tapes, I told you then that you were my friend. You're the only person who really knows me besides Marshall, and I mean that, I really do. I wanted to tell you about Alex then, but for some reason it just didn't seem like the right time. Every time after that seemed like it was never the right time, and when you and Matt looked like you were getting back together then it just felt awkward talking with you about my problems. Well, especially about that." He added.

Dani interrupted him again. "But, Nico, you came to me about Gabrielle, why didn't you talk to me about Alex then? You said we were friends Nico. Friends talk. They talk about anything and everything. I can't know everything about them unless they talk to me."

Dani apologized to Nico again for interrupting as she realized that he didn't interrupt her once. She picked up her wine and took an unsteady sip and continued to hold the glass in her hand, resting it lightly upon her thigh. She looked sheepishly over at him and murmured, "I'm sorry, please continue."

Nico nodded and continued. "Dani, the final straw was the night the reporters were parked outside your front door and we were talking and I was telling you about Mark Cuban and his offer for Dallas. I told you I was thinking about taking it because there really wasn't anything holding me here, and you told me that the team would miss me. I was waiting for you to ask me to stay, but you never did. I knew, or rather I took that as what it was and decided to not tell you anything about Alex because I saw where your heart lie. But like you said, we were friends and I should have told you and trusted you enough tell my friend the truth, and for that I'm sorry. I wanted to keep that bad can of worms to myself because I didn't see us going anywhere then. At that time you chose Matt and so I decided to go to Dallas."

Nico took a deep breath and continued. "Then everything happened with the F.B.I. You know the reason why I didn't go to Dallas and the reason why I didn't contact you But the real reason I didn't contact you was because I didn't know how you'd react to the news about Alex. I talked and then made a deal with the F.B.I. about releasing Alex when it was all over. I never imagined her coming to V3 and walking right smack bang into you and Conner. I'm sorry I didn't tell you. When I got the clearance to go see her and tell her that she'd be getting out soon, I never thought she'd come up to V3. Nothing has happened between us, Dani." He promised. "And I really can't seem to shake your reaction when Alex introduced herself as my wife. I…" He tried again. "Dani, I messed up by not telling you about her. I see that now, and Dani, you do know me though, really you do."

At that moment Dani asks, "Do I, Nico?"

"Yes, you do." He replied with conviction. "I'd never intentionally hurt you. You're the best thing that's ever happen to me. I know you asked for some space, but when you'd come home at night from the office, I'd park just down the street to your home, just to make sure you were okay." He confessed. "I'd park just close enough to see that your lights were on and then I knew what part of the house you were in. I had to make sure you were okay. Before anything happen with you, with us," He amended. "I stayed away from you for so many reasons. The first time I laid eyes on you, Dani, you took my breath away and I knew I had it bad. As soon as I met you, I knew you were different and unlike anyone I've ever met before. When it got really bad and I was thinking about you all the time, I tried to be with other women to get you off my mind. Then the thought of Matt or anyone else's hands on you nearly drove me mad. That is why I felt I had to do something about moving away. Seeing you and Matt back together at the end of the season game, I knew I had to get away from here. I think it's a good thing it work out the way that it did, because we wouldn't have had that one chance we had before everything came to blows."

Nico took a deep breath and carried on. "Dani, you know I'm a Navy Seal, and you know that I'm tough as nails. But when it comes to you; when I think of you, it's like… Oh, I don't know…"

Nico picked up one of Dani's hands and started to caress it and inter-mingle her fingers with his. "Dani," He continued huskily, "you're the perfect girl and made just for me. It's so easy to love you. I found that out the first time that I had to come and get you in the middle of the night to go chasing after TK. Remember?" Dani nodded and he pushed on. "You didn't want to go because of Ray, and you didn't want to leave with me to go get TK from a strip club in Atlantic City, New Jersey. My point is, you didn't know me that well and you trusted me enough and my word to get you to and from Jersey, and I had you back home in time, didn't I? The fact that you helped TK, a troubled young boy who is now a respectable young man says a lot to me. Dani, you did that and I am impressed with the way you've worked with other people. It's what you do and I admire you for it. The fact that you help other people shows me that I was right about you."

Nico shifted and leaned nearer to her. "Dani, you, me, we're compatible. Us two are natural together. We have been broken and we've both picked ourselves up. You've actually helped me with that by overcoming all the hurt, amongst other things, and for that I will forever be grateful to you. Dani, we work well together both professionally and on a personal level. To be honest, I've never felt that way, or that connected with anyone else."

"Dani," Nico says huskily as he moves closer still to her on the sofa. "We're meant to be. You're it for me." Nico reached for her other hand and held them against his pounding heart. "Dani, you're all I'd ever want, you're everything for me. We fit so perfectly together and, mmmmmm…"

Nico felt a shiver go down his spine as Dani laid her head on his chest with her right hand covered his rapidly beating heart. "Dani, you're everything I'd want in a friend and lover. I love you, I do. You had me from the day we met with those big, beautiful brown eyes of yours while standing by my car as I took off my shades. Your eyes were pulling me in, but I couldn't do anything about it then. I had to leave you standing there as I pulled off the curb. I watched you in my mirror until I couldn't see you any longer as I drove away. I have to give thanks to all the men who passed you up, because if it wasn't for the, then I wouldn't have had the chance to be with the most precious being there is."

Nico's voice began to tremble with emotion. "What I mean is, God sent me an angel, and knowing you're by my side brings tears to my eyes and joy to my soul."

As Dani lifted her head and looked up into his eyes, she wiped away a lone tear and held her hand on his cheek for a moment and smiled lovingly at him. She took his left hand, brought it to her lips and gave him a gentle kiss on his palm. Nico closed his eyes in ecstasy and he continued on. "Tell me, Dani, how can I be so lucky that you'd fall from heaven for me? Baby, it was like you were up there waiting and then you were put down here to help me. And then I go and mess it up. I hope I haven't destroyed it completely with us, I really pray I haven't." He implored as he gently kissed her forehead. "Dani," He murmured. "I used to think that love was only for everybody else and not for me. I thought that maybe it was just a fairytale, something that I couldn't have. I mean, people like me…I just didn't think it was possible. I thought I felt love for Gabriel, but it couldn't have been, because what I feel for you goes much deeper, so much deeper than what I've ever felt for anyone in my life, and I've never had to fight for what I really wanted before. I never really felt that I had to, until now, Dani."

Okay, let me know what you think. Think I at least one more chapter, don't know yet. You have any ideas or suggestions don't mind hearing them. If not that's cool too, like I said should have one more chapter coming. Had a lot of fun doing this story. Take care and don't forget, leave a review or you may PM me. Thanks for taking the time to read. I appreciate you all who have left me a PM and review so far and those of you who keep me lifted in good spirits after receiving aweful PM's from, well you know who you are I appreciate your words. My busy work schedule has kept me very busy as well. Thanks again.