Marcie gathered her books and walked out of the classroom. The tightness in her chest was evident as she re-read the test paper for the fifth time in the last ten minutes. She couldn't believe it. Another "C"!
Tears stung her eyes. Michael was going to kill her! Okay, maybe not, but he would definitely be disappointed. They worked so hard, studying for this test, and she knew all the answers, so why didn't she get an "A"?
Oh God... now she may lose her scholarship and would have to quit school. She would disappoint everyone; President Davidson, her professors, Michael, her father, and worst of all, herself.
She walked into the Onion and groaned when she spotted Jen and Riley, sitting cozily on the sofa, studying together. She should go over and say hello, but she was most definitely not in the mood for conversation. Quickly, she walked past them, praying that neither one of them would see her. She just wanted to be left alone.
Once outside, she walked quickly, not knowing where she was going. Soon she arrived at Angel Square. Thankfully, it was deserted. She needed a place to be alone with her thoughts. She smiled, remembering how she and Michael had sat in this very place on Valentine's Day. It was strange... Almost as though this was where they had fallen in love.
She sat down on the bench that Michael had donated in honor of Gabrielle. It was one of the sweetest things he had ever done, although she could never figure out why he did it. He was devastated by her death, and yet he barely knew Gabrielle. Marcie's heart warmed, thinking of Michael. Her love for him grew deeper every day.
'Okay, Marcie! Enough daydreaming!'
Sighing, she picked up her book and thumbed through the pages until she came to the chapters that were covered on the test. She began reading the material over and over again, trying to figure out why she had managed to get a "C". She used to be a straight-"A" student, so how could her grades have fallen so rapidly? Michael didn't seem to be worried about her grades, but she was. She knew her dad would freak out if she failed yet another class, but Michael had gently assured her that it wouldn't happen.
She was unaware of a figure, standing in the distance, watching her. The figure stepped out of the shadows, and moved toward her. Suddenly the person came closer until they were almost face to face.
"How's my girl?" a familiar voice said.
Marcie looked up, startled. Her heart pounded as she looked into those gorgeous eyes. She put her hand over her mouth and was overcome with dizziness.
"Al?" she said. Seconds later, everything went black.
Marcie opened her eyes, shocked to find herself lying on Gabrielle's bench. Oh God... what was she doing sleeping instead of studying? And she could have sworn she just saw...
No... It couldn't be...
She pulled herself to a sitting position and took a deep breath, shutting her eyes. All of a sudden, she felt someone gently rubbing her arm, sending tingles up her spine.
"Sweetie, are you okay? You fainted."
That voice again...
It took Marcie several seconds to focus when she found herself looking into Al's eyes.
"Al?" She said as her voice trembled. She was overcome with emotion at the sight of him and tears streamed down her cheeks. "Oh my God!" she said, throwing her arms around him.
"Sweetie..." he said, holding her tightly. "God, I've missed you so much!" He rubbed her back, inhaling the scent of her perfume; a scent that he had missed so badly.
"What are you doing here?" Marcie asked, unable to believe this was really happening.
"Marcie..." he said, rubbing her tears away with his thumbs. "I couldn't stay away from you."
"But this is impossible!" Marcie said, pulling away from him.
"No honey. It's real." Al said.
"H-how can this be happening? I mean, you're... you were... I was there... I saw you in the hospital... you looked... so peaceful. I was so devastated..." Marcie said, trying to choke back the unexpected sobs that escaped her voice. "The doctor... he said you were gone... there was nothing they could do... they..."
"They were wrong." Al said. "I'm here. I'm real and I'm not going anywhere. I love you." She gasped as he took her in his arms, kissing her with reckless abandon, causing her to gasp at the familiar sensation of his lips on hers.
She backed out of his embrace and looked into his eyes, feeling more light-headed than she had before. His touch was so familiar; it was as though they had never parted. Her insides burned with intense desire for him, and she stared longingly at him.
"Oh Al. I love you so much." Marcie said when she finally regained her composure.
"God, Marcie, you can't imagine how much I've missed you." Al said, running his finger down her cheek.
"But where have you been? What took you so long to come back to me? Why..." Her last words were smothered by his lips on hers.
"Shhh... No more questions." Al said in that sexy voice that made Marcie quiver. "We're together and that's all that matters. I'll never leave you again, I swear it. We're soul mates, Marcie. We were destined to be together forever. That's why I came back to you. I didn't want to leave you all alone." He kissed the top of her head. "I love you so much, baby." He whispered into her hair.
"I love you too, Al. I thought I would never love-" Marcie stopped suddenly, thinking of Michael. This time, instead of the familiar warm feeling she always got when the thought of him, she was filled with pain. She loved Michael more than she ever thought possible. Seeing Al again was like a dream come true. It was more incredible than she had ever imagined.
But why now? She had finally gotten through her grief of losing Al and had allowed herself to fall in love again... deeply in love with Michael, only to have Al come back into her life.
She'd had bad luck in her life before, but this was definitely luck of the worst kind...
and the best...
"What's wrong, Marcie?" Al asked, brushing a stray lock of hair from her face. He kissed her mouth, then her cheeks, then her neck, smiling when he heard Marcie's breath catch in her throat.
"I must have been out of my mind to leave you. I'd forgotten how beautiful you are." He said, showering her with kisses. "I know I'm crazy about you, though. Let's get out of here and go somewhere that we can be alone, okay?"
Without waiting for a response, he stood and took her hand. "Let's go to your dorm room." he whispered in that voice that made her knees weak.
She laced her fingers through his and watched as he gathered her books. Marcie felt the dizziness return as Al pulled her along silently toward the Llanview University campus.
They arrived at the dorm room, their mouths smoldered together before Marcie could even get the key into the lock. Her hand trembled uncontrollably as she frantically tried to open it. Her heart leaped when she felt Al's hands over hers, turning the knob gently as the door finally opened.
He pushed her into the room, never once taking his mouth off of hers. Once inside, he slammed the door with his foot, dropping the books onto the floor. His hold on her grew tighter, as he kissed her passionately making up for lost time.
Marcie's cell phone rang. "Don't answer that." Al said, unbuttoning her sweater as she struggled to remove it. She threw the sweater across the room, revealing a pink lace tank camisole.
"God, you are so incredibly beautiful." He breathed into her neck. The phone rang four times, and then stopped. Al sighed with relief, but seconds later, it rang again.
Breathless, Marcie sat up. "I'd better get that. It might be Ron or Eric." she said, squirming her way out of his arms and off of the bed. She walked over to the dresser, taking the phone out of her purse.
"Hello?" she said, hoping the caller wouldn't notice her gasping for air.
"Hey Sweetie. How's the most beautiful woman in the world?"
Marcie felt a lump in her throat.
"Are you okay?" Michael asked. "You sound upset."
"I'm fine. It's just school." Marcie said, looking at Al. Her heart fluttered when he winked at her.
"Sweetie, I know you're worried about your grades, but don't be. Everything will be okay." Michael said.
"Thanks." Marcie said as her voice quivered slightly.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Michael asked.
"Yeah, Michael. I'm fine." Marcie said.
"Okay, Sweetie. Hey, I'm off today, so why don't I come over and help you study?" Michael said. "We can even study your books instead of each other if you want." He laughed.
"NO!" Marcie yelled, surprising herself. "I-I mean, I'm really wiped out. I have this huge test to study for and then I'm gonna get some sleep." She couldn't believe she had just lied to him.
"Oh. Okay." Michael said the disappointment evident in his voice. "Well, I have to do a 24 hour, starting tonight, but I'll call you as soon as I get off. I love you, Sweetie."
Marcie's heart tightened. "I love you too, Michael." She whispered, closing the phone before he had a chance to respond. She glanced at Al, who was looking at her curiously. She walked over to the bed, where Al held out his arms. How was it possible to love two people at once? And how would she choose?
"So..." Al said, grinning at her. "Do you want to pick up where we left off? I think we were right about here..." He began showering her with kisses.
After a few minutes, Marcie sat up, breathless. "I-I can't do this." she said, throwing her leg over the side of the bed.
"What's the matter, Sweetie?" Al asked, kissing her cheek.
"Oh... I don't know..." Marcie said, thinking of Michael.
"You can tell me anything. You know that." Al said, rubbing her back.
"I-I just. This is all kind of sudden for me... seeing you again." Marcie said. "You know, I really think I should just get some sleep."
Al smiled. "Well, that sounds good to me. You, snuggled in my arms all night? It sounds like Heaven." He thought for a minute. "No that's not right. I was miserable there without you." He pulled her toward him, kissing her until she was breathless once more.
Marcie sighed as they pulled apart. The thought of being in Al's arms again sent shivers up her spine. She smiled at him, caressing his cheek. "I'd like that. I'm gonna take a shower and change clothes."
"I miss you already." Al said. "Don't take too long or I'll have to come after you."
Marcie felt a tear fall onto her cheek and quickly turned away, hoping he hadn't seen. She gathered her things and went into the bathroom and shut the door. Her hand shook as she turned on the water, and steam filled the bathroom.
She stepped into the shower, as the soothing water washed all of her fears away.
Why was this happening? Ever since Al died (and she knew he had died. She was sure of it. She was there... wasn't she?), she had dreamed of being in his arms again. She missed his gentle touches, his warm kisses, his sexy voice and his beautiful smile.
Then there was Michael... so much like Al and yet so different. He was gentle, sweet, kind, handsome and wonderful. Just like Al. But Michael had a different side to him. He had a family that had just been reunited, which might be part of what changed him into such an incredible person. She smiled, remembering when he told her that he had changed because of her.
Oh God... What was she going to do? She turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, grabbing the fluffy blue towel from the rack. Tears streamed down her face when she realized that sooner or later she was going to have to choose: Michael or Al...
Michael stood in the ER, trying to concentrate on the file he was supposed to be reviewing. However, thoughts of Marcie made it difficult to think about anything else. She sounded so upset. He hated to think that she was alone, but there wasn't much he could do. He longed to be with her, kissing away her fears.
He sighed and went back to reading through the file, but the thoughts of Marcie came again. He thought about her reaction to his offer to help her study. She definitely sounded stressed. It was as though she didn't want to see him. But why?
Maybe he shouldn't have been so foreword, inviting himself over. He was always saying things without thinking first. He'd done it so many times. He should have asked her to come to his room at the hotel. They would have more privacy there. Well, that is until Roxy gives another guest a key to his room.
Man! She was always barging in whenever he and Marcie tried to be alone! It was bad enough that a complete stranger walked in on them, but then it happened again on the rooftop, ruining his perfect evening with her.
He smiled, thinking of Marcie. She was so beautiful and never complained about Roxy's interruptions.
His heart pounded and suddenly he couldn't wait to get off of his shift so that he could hold her in his arms.
Marcie stared at her red, puffy face in the bathroom mirror. She didn't want Al to see her like this. She splashed cold water on her cheeks and patted her face dry. When she was dressed in her pink pajamas, she opened the door.
Al smiled when he saw her. "Hey, Beautiful..." he said, inviting her into his arms. She smiled at him, climbing into the bed. He wrapped his arms around her as she laid her head on his chest. Almost instantly, Marcie drifted off to sleep.
She awoke feeling tears on her cheeks, realizing that she had been dreaming of Michael. All night long, thoughts of Michael and Al swirled through her head. She sniffed, trying to clear her stuffy nose, and grabbed a Kleenex from her nightstand.
She felt Al move next to her and his hand touched her shoulder.
"Sweetie, are you crying?"
"No..." Marcie said softly as she held him tightly.
Al gently turned her face toward him. "Look at me..."
She did her best to avoid his eyes."Honey, what's wrong?"
Marcie knew she had to tell him about Michael. There was no other choice. She sighed, wishing she didn't have to make this decision.
"Why are you crying, Sweetie?" Al asked again.
It was a long time before Marcie spoke.
"This was wrong." Marcie cringed, unable to believe what she was saying.
"What do you mean? What's wrong?" Al asked.
"This... being here... with you."
Oh God! Why had she said it that way? She didn't want to hurt him.
Al stared at her in disbelief. "Marcie? Why would you say that? It's not wrong! We're soul mates, remember? I love you!"
Marcie sighed. "I love you too, Al... so much. But..."
"But what, Sweetie?" Al asked, lacing his fingers through hers.
Marcie took a deep breath. "I love Michael, too."
Al's eyes grew wide with disbelief as he sat up. "What did you say?"
"I said 'I love Michael, too.'" Marcie said, surprising herself at the quietness of her own voice.
Al swallowed hard. "You're talking about Michael McBain, aren't you?"
"Yes..." Marcie said, her voice barely audible.
Al was silent for a long time. Finally he rose from the bed in one fluid motion. Marcie's mouth trembled when she saw the hurt in his eyes. "Oh God, Al! I'm so sorry!"
Still fully clothed from the night before, Al put on his shoes and walked to the door. Marcie began to panic. "Wh-what are you doing?"
Al said nothing and opened the door. Without looking at her, he walked into the hallway.
Marcie ran to the door "Al!" she yelled as he walked down the hallway. "Please don't leave me! I can't bear to lose you twice!" Her vision blurred with tears, she began to sob. "I love you, Al!" she said, watching him walk further and further away. "Please come back! I'm so sorry!"
When he disappeared around the corner, she slammed the door and flung herself on the bed, soaking her pillow with tears.
Al left Marcie's room and walked back to Angel Square, brushing the tears from his eyes. This was his fault... he was the one who left, and then persuaded Marcie to find happiness with Michael. She had done what he asked. And she had fallen in love with him.
He should be happy for her, but he wasn't. All he'd ever wanted was for her to be happy but he hadn't thought about how he would feel, knowing that she loved someone else.
He sat down on the bench with the engraved plaque. He rubbed his thumb over his mom's name. God he missed her. He really needed her now. What had he done? He must have been crazy. Now he had lost Marcie forever to someone else. He couldn't tell her to stop loving Michael. Not after all he had done to persuade her.
Unable to take the pain he was feeling, he buried his face in his hands as his emotions got the best of him.
Michael's shift finally ended and he was exhausted. If it weren't for the fact that he loved Marcie so much and couldn't wait to see her, he would have gone straight home to bed.
Instead, he jumped in his car and drove to L.U. He wanted to see Marcie so badly and beg her forgiveness for whatever he had done to hurt her. He glanced at the bouquet of Gerber daisies lying on the passenger seat next to him. These would surely do the trick. If not, he could think of a few other things that would cheer her up.
He arrived at the dorm parking lot and jumped out of his car, slamming the door. Excitedly, he ran up the stairs to her room and knocked on the door. No answer. He looked at his watch. It was a little after 8am.
He sighed, knowing that she was probably in class and there was no way she'd be home now. He didn't want to bother her and he really was exhausted. Feeling disappointed, he bent down and left the bouquet of daisies in front of her door, then turned and left to go home.
Marcie ran through the campus, calling out Al's name as she ignored the stares from nearby students. Breathless, she came to the Onion and pushed open the door.
Frantically she searched the room, but saw no sign of Al.
She sat on the sofa and covered her face with her hands. How could she have done this to him? The love of her life? Her voice of the night? She couldn't get his face out of her mind; the hurt in his eyes when she told him about Michael. He looked as though he would start crying. She had only seen him cry once and that was the day before his liver transplant. Right before he...
She shook her head. This didn't make any sense! How was it possible that she remembered him dying when he was right here with her? That had been real! Her grief... it was real. There was no way she had imagined something so painful. Why would anyone want to imagine something that hurt beyond the depths of their soul? That was real...
But so was this... Al was real. He had touched her... kissed her... held her all night long.
Where could he be? She stood and ran to the only other place on campus that he could possibly be. Her heart raced as she came to the radio station and flung open the door.
"Al?" she yelled, finding the room empty. She walked inside and touched the chair where Al used to sit and do his radio show. She glanced at the stacks of tapes neatly arranged on the shelves...
Tears filled her eyes as she read the words... The Voice of the Night.... The wonderful, beautiful things he said just to her. Even before she knew that Al was The Voice of the night...
Her mind drifted back to their first kiss... how he'd smiled so sweetly at her and without saying a word, leaned over and kissed her. She hadn't meant to find out his secret so abruptly when she walked into the studio. He was obviously embarrassed and almost ashamed, saying that he wasn't "cool" like the Voice was. But to her he was a hero... in every sense of the word...
Marcie began to sob, but then quickly tried to pull herself together. She had to calm down. She'd never find him in her panicked state. She sat down in the chair.
Think, Marcie. Think... You know Al better than anyone...
Where could he have gone? She closed her eyes. All of a sudden, she knew. Relieved she stood and ran out of the station, slamming the door behind her.
Please be there, Al...
Michael arrived home and wearily opened the door to his room. He tossed his keys and wallet onto the dresser and took off his shoes. It was still early, so he figured that Marcie wasn't back at her dorm. However, he had to talk to her.
He pulled out his cell phone and dialed her number. The phone rang four times before the voice mail answered. He smiled, just hearing her beautiful voice, prompting him to leave a message.
"Hey, Sweetie. It's me. Listen, I'm really sorry if I upset you yesterday. When I called you sounded sad and I can't stand to think of you hurting. I love you, Marcie. Look. I came by your dorm earlier, but I guess you were in class. I'm off today and I want to see you, so please call me, okay? I love you, Sweetie. Bye."
Michael sighed and shut his cell phone, shoving it back into his coat pocket, hanging on the back of his chair. Climbing into bed, he was asleep within seconds... dreaming of Marcie...
Marcie arrived in Angel Square, stopping briefly to catch her breath.
"Al?" She said, peering around the corner of the fence.
God, please let him be here...
Her breath caught and her eyes filled with tears when she saw him. He looked sadder than she had ever seen anyone. His eyes were red and she knew that he had been crying. Quietly she walked over to Gabrielle's bench and sat down next to him.
"Al?" She whispered.
He turned to her with tears in his eyes, and then looked away.
"Oh God, Al. I'm so sorry!"
He looked down at the ground. "You're in love with him?"
"How can you do this to me?" He asked quietly.
"I was only doing what you wanted me to do." Marcie said.
"What I wanted you to do? Marcie, I never wanted you to fall in love with the guy!" Michael yelled. He saw Marcie jump and he realized that he'd scared her, making him feel worse.
A moment of tense silence passed between them.
"Do you still love me?" Al asked, unable to look at her.
Marcie stared at him, dumbfounded. "How can you ask me that? Of course I love you. I will love you until the day I die. I thought you knew that."
"What about everything we shared, huh? What about us?" Al said.
Marcie looked into his eyes, not knowing what to say.
Angrily, Al brushed an escaped tear from his cheek and took a deep breath.
"Marcie..." Al said as he took her hand. "Don't you remember? How you locked me in your dorm room, trying to get me off drugs? Or how you made me see that Jen wasn't the perfect person that I pictured her to be? Or how you helped me through school? You are the only person I ever wanted Marcie; not Jen, not anyone! No one has ever shown me as much love and kindness as you have. You made me a better person, Marcie. And I will never forget it! The thought that you love someone else is tearing apart my soul! I love you, Marcie!"
Marcie stared at him and then reached out and touched his cheek, remembering all the love they had shared and how she had missed him so much. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
"I love you too, Al." she said, moving toward him for a kiss. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her more passionately than she'd ever been kissed in her life.
They pulled apart, breathless. "I'll never love anyone but you, Marcie. Ever." He grinned and pulled her into a heated embrace.
A noise startled her, causing her to break free from his lips on hers. She glanced at the fence, gasping at what she saw.
There in the corner was Michael, watching her and Al. He dropped the flower he was holding and she saw the sadness and anger in his face just before he turned and ran; disappearing from sight...
"Michael!" Marcie yelled, springing from the bench. She ran to the entrance of Angel Square and picked up the flower. It was a beautiful lavender delphinium. She brought the flower to her nose, inhaling its' wonderful scent. Instantly, memories of the radio station came flooding back. Michael had given her a delphinium and then stayed with her while she sang Christmas carols for her radio show on Christmas Eve.
She turned around to find Al watching her in disbelief.
Oh God... why is this happening?
She walked over to Al and kissed him tenderly on the lips. "I love you Al. I will always love you. But I love Michael too. Please understand. I have to make this right. It's not fair to Michael." Her voice began to break. "You'll always be a part of me, right here in my heart."
Al took her in his arms and held her tightly. "Marcie. Sweetie, I'm sorry. I was so selfish. I'm the one who told you to be with Michael. I can see how much you love him. You should go to him. He loves you. I could see it in his eyes."
"Al, I..." Marcie said.
"Shhh..." Al said, putting his finger to her lips, and then kissing her. "Go to him, Marcie. Please. Before it's too late. I'll be fine."
"Al, I love you. I-I want you to know that." Marcie said.
"And I love you, too. Now go to him before you lose him forever. I want you to be happy. I'll always be with you." Al said, pulling her toward him for one last kiss.
Marcie walked to the fence and turned to look at him.
"Thank you. I love you." She mouthed as she blew him a kiss.
"I love you too, Sweetie." Al said, returning the gesture.
Taking a deep breath, Marcie ran out of Angel Square as Al watched with a smile on his face.
"Please, Michael... Don't go... I love you..."
Michael froze when he heard Marcie's voice. "Marcie!" He yelled, running into Angel Square. He was filled with relief when he saw her, lying on the bench he had donated in honor of Gabrielle.
"Thank God!" he said, running over to her. He took her in his arms, startling her awake.
Marcie looked at him in a daze, feeling his fingers running through her hair.
"I've been looking everywhere for you." He said, before softly kissing her mouth. "What are you doing out here all by yourself?"
Marcie looked at him. "I-I wasn't by myself. I was with-" She looked around, shocked to find that she and Michael were alone.
"What's wrong, Sweetie?" Michael asked. "Who was here?"
Marcie stood and looked around once more. "Where's Al?"
Michael looked at her with surprise. "Marcie-"
She stood and walked over to the fence, leaning against the rail, gasping when she felt Michael's strong arms around her and his soft lips kissing her cheek. She sighed as she leaned into his muscular body.
"I'm sorry I hurt you so badly." She whispered.
Michael turned her to face him. "Hurt me? Now what makes you think you hurt me? I was just so worried about you, Sweetie. I looked everywhere for you."
Marcie shut her eyes, trying to make sense of the situation. "But, you saw us! You were so hurt."
"No, Sweetie. I'm fine. I'm just so glad you're okay." Michael said.
"But on the rooftop, you said you saw me with Al, and-"
Marcie stopped when Michael held a finger to her lips. He tried desperately to hide the grin on his face.
"What?" Marcie finally said.
"You were dreaming, Sweetie." Michael said. "It's okay."
"No, I- He was right here, on this bench! He-" Marcie said.
Michael saw her shiver from the cool night air and took off his jacket, wrapping it around her shoulders. "It's cold out here."
He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "Come on, Sweetie. Let's go home."
Marcie lay on Michael's bed at the Angel Square Hotel, snuggled in his arms.
"Sweetie, you never told me why you were in Angel Square all by yourself." Michael said.
"But I wasn't by myself! I was with-" Marcie said.
"I know, you said you were with Al. Wow that must have been some dream." Michael said.
"It was awful." Marcie said, putting her hand on her forehead.
"Really? I think that's the first time I've ever heard you say anything bad about Al." Michael said.
"Well, I had to choose between you both." Marcie said. "And I just couldn't do that. In the end, you both got hurt."
Michael grinned. "So who did you choose?"
Marcie looked away.
"Come on. I won't be mad. You chose Al, right?" Michael said. He sat up on the bed in order to listen more intently to her.
When Marcie didn't answer, he caressed her chin with his thumb. "I won't be mad, I swear."
Marcie sighed. "Well, actually I chose you." She said.
Michael was surprised. "Really? I bet that was a terrible decision to make. I know how much you loved Al Holden." He was deeply touched that she would choose him over Al, even though he knew that there was no choice to make.
"No, Michael. I thought Al was gone forever, and I had to move on with my life." Marcie said.
"Well I want to hear more about this dream." Michael said.
Marcie shook her head. "No. It's embarrassing."
"Come on." Michael said, taking her hand.
Marcie sighed, knowing how insane she must be sounding right now, talking about something that didn't really happen. "Okay, I was in Angel Square and I guess I fell asleep and when I woke up, I saw Al. I realized that I missed him so much and we went back to my dorm room and then you called. I told Al that I was in love with you and he got very upset and ran out and I followed him to Angel Square."
Michael started to smile, but it quickly faded when he saw tears in her eyes. He brushed the back his hand against her cheek. "It's okay. Go on. I want to hear more."
Marcie took a deep breath and continued. "When I got to Angel Square, I told him I only loved him and you showed up and you were really mad. I followed you to the rooftop and when I found you. Michael, you told me how hurt you were that I had been with Al.
You left me there alone..."
The tears she'd been holding in managed to make their way down her cheek.
Michael took her in his arms and held her. "Sweetie, no. I would never leave you. I love you."
"I love you too, Michael." Marcie said.
Michael leaned over and brought his lips to hers, kissing her gently with warmth that sent tingles down her spine. When they parted, he smiled at her.
"Baby, I don't ever want you to forget Al, okay? You two had something really special together and he'll always be a part of you. I just wish I could show you the kind of love that he did. He was extremely lucky to have you."
"Michael, I-" Marcie said before Michael pressed his lips to hers once more.
Finally their lips parted and he pressed his nose against hers, touching their foreheads as he smiled sweetly at her.
"Marcie, you never told me..." Michael said. "Why were you in Angel Square all by yourself? It's not safe to be there alone in the dark."
"Oh..." Marcie said, suddenly remembering the test she had managed to bomb.
"What is it?" Michael asked.
"You'll be ashamed of me." Marcie said.
"Sweetie, I could never be ashamed of you. Something's bothering you. What is it?" Michael asked.
Marcie sighed and pulled the test paper from her book. Unfolding it, she handed it to Michael.
"What's this?" he said, glancing at the paper.
"It's my chemistry test." Marcie said. "The one we studied for."
Michael saw the big "C" in red marker, glaring at him from the page. "Oh..." he said, suddenly realizing why Marcie had been so quiet.
"I told you that you'd be ashamed of me." Marcie said. She looked down at the carpet, staring at her shoes.
"No, Sweetie. It's fine." Michael said.
"It's a "C", Michael!" Marcie said.
"Yeah but it's no big deal." Michael said. "Everything will be fine, okay? Stressing out about it won't make it better. Trust me, I'm a doctor."
Marcie laughed. "You always make me feel so wonderful, Michael. Why do you do that?" She stood and picked up her book and shoved the test paper inside, laying the book on the dresser.
"Because we're soul mates and I love you." Michael said.
Marcie sighed, thinking there was something strangely familiar about the way he walked up behind her and slid his hands down her arms, wrapping his arms around her...