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Winds of Change

Through the winds of change, an unexpected romance occurs.
The sun shone bright as I walked along the shore of Lake Superior. I loved the sound of the water rushing up on shore and the feel of the cold water and soft sand upon my bare feet. The water glistened like diamonds as I stared out at it. Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, and the one I marvel at the most. It was forever pulling me to it, making me want to be near it. I could feel the power that it had over me, and all that marveled at its beauty.

I was torn in coming back to this place. When my parents died, I decided to move away and never come back. It was just too hard to be there, the place I grew up, and know that I no longer had family there. I went away to college, got a great job as an accountant, and made the most of things in New York, but I could never get Grand Marais, Michigan out of my mind.

When I was young, my parents owned a glass bottom boat and took people on shipwreck tours. There are plenty of shipwrecks that are in shallow enough water to see from a glass bottom boat. As a youngster, I was the tour guide. I loved my job. Though I vowed not to move back to Michigan, my heart pulled me back to the place I loved, and the memories I had as a child.

I researched what it would take to move back. I had dreams of it. Then it happened. I heard the AuSable Point Lighthouse needed a light keeper. The job wasn’t about turning on and off the light. That had been automated for years. It was about keeping up with maintenance on the lighthouse and giving tours. I was torn. It was my chance to go back, but was I truly sure that it was what I wanted. Dreaming about it was one thing, but doing it was another. After stewing on the decision for a while, I decided that I wanted the job more than anything, and sold the lighthouse committee on letting me take the job and move into the lighthouse.

I had been there a year now, and just loved it. Often I went on the glass bottom boat rides, just to remember my parents and how things had been when I was young. I missed them.

The lighthouse was built in 1874 to stop the destruction of ships that didn’t see the shore. The 80 miles of dark shoreline had taken many ships, as seen by the debris of two that lay on shore just below the hill where the lighthouse towered.. The lighthouse put an end to that.

I walked along the beach barefoot feeling the sand between my toes as soft as powder. The air was fresh and crisp and the water was sparkling and amazing. It was like watching diamonds dance. I passed the wood boards of two separate shipwrecks that were preserved in the water. It was like being a part of the past.

I reached the stairs leading up the hill to the lighthouse. It wasn’t very many steps and rather steep, but not a bad climb. As I reached the top, a hand reach out to take mine and help me up. The strong hand took hold of mine and guided me the last few steps up.

After steadying myself, I looked up and into the eyes of the man that just helped me. It was Jim Stewart, the famous meteorologist from the new Weather Channel.

I stood and looked at him for the longest moment. A smile formed on his face leaving his twinkling blue eyes mesmerizing. The way he pulled me up and the size of his arms left me knowing just how strong he really was.

“Thank you,” I finally said. “That was very kind.” I let go of his warm hand even though a part of me didn’t want to.

“You are welcome,” he said. “This is a very beautiful place. Is it yours?”

His voice was just like I knew from his weather shows. It was strong and comforting. It made me feel safe.

“In a manner of speaking. I’m the lighthouse keeper. I keep the place up, make sure no one vandalizes it, and give tours. I live here.”

“What a wonderful view to wake up to every day,” he said, looking out over to the lake.

“Yes, it is. I grew up across the lake over there,” I said, pointing. “I gave shipwreck tours when I was little, and now I’m back giving lighthouse tours.”

“Do you also run the campground down the path?” It was a two-mile walk down the rocky path through the woods to the campground. There was no way to get to the lighthouse except to walk, bike ride, or use the golf cart.

“Yes, I do,” I said. “You can check in with me.”

“I want to rent a spot for the week. Do I pay you?”

“No need,” I said. “It’s the end of the season, so you are the only one there. You don’t have to pay me, sir.”

“That’s awful generous. Thank you. The name is Jim Stewart,” he said. His voice made me swoon like a teenager.

“I know,” was all I could say. I stared at him for the longest time. I felt like I already knew him, even though that was quite silly. I’d been watching him on TV for years. “What brings you to the middle of no where?”

“Vacation, believe it or not. I just wanted to get away from it all for awhile.”

“You get to see every part of the states. Isn’t that vacation?”

“Sometimes, but mostly, it’s work.” Jim stared at me making me very nervous. “This time it’s just for me.”

“Any ideas of what you want to do while you’re here?”

I had a few ideas about what he could do while he was here, but I didn’t think it would be a good idea to blurt them out.

“Not really. I hear there’s a lot to do. Can you give me a hint?” He asked. There went my brain thinking of more ideas that I could give him, but none of them were G-rated.

“Well, how about starting with a home-cooked meal tonight, a tour of the lighthouse, and the shipwrecks down below. I can take you to see Pictured Rocks and a shipwreck tour from the glass bottom boats,” I said. “And we can even go scuba diving to see the shipwrecks, if you want.”

The only thing I really thought about was giving him a tour of my bed, but I didn’t. The thought of his arms around me, his hands on me, and his lips kissing mine was the most pleasant thought that I could come up with.

“That sounds great,” he said. He wore a baseball cap, black t-shirt, khaki pants, and tennis shoes. I scanned his body without meaning to, exactly. He was just gorgeous.

My mind wandered for a quick moment. I had thoughts of having his naked body on top of mine in the sand on the shore of Lake Superior. The cold water would run up against our bodies and the sun would warm us from above. The waves would match the thrusts of him moving inside me. I suddenly and noticeably quivered.

“Are you okay?” Jim asked, with the slight look of concern on his face.

“Oh, yes,” I said. “Just a sudden chill.” I knew he would know it was a lie, because it was one of our last nice days of the season. It was still quite warm out.

“You aren’t afraid of me, are you?” He asked. If he only knew. Fear was the least of what I was feeling. I never had such sudden feelings for anyone I came across no matter how gorgeous, but with Jim Stewart, well, I just felt safe and comforted somehow.

"No,” was all I could say. His strength and looks kept drawing me back to him, back to staring, back to dreaming of my legs being wrapped tightly around his waist and the feeling of him covering me with his strong figure. I just felt so close to him, because of all the years I had spent listening to his reports, his advice, his warnings. For years, I had had a wild, passionate crush on him.

He just looked at me like he was wondering what I was thinking. I wasn’t sure if I was glad he couldn’t read my mind or not.

“I’m not afraid of you, unless you are here for a weather disaster. When I first saw you, I didn’t know if I should duck and cover or not,” I said. “Other than that, you make me feel safe, not afraid.”

I get that reaction everywhere I go. Sometimes I feel alone, because everyone is afraid of me, afraid of what I bring to their area. Though it isn’t really me, I represent bad weather, bad news, even deaths and loss.”

“But you also represent life and safety and warnings.” I knew why he thought the worst. I understood, but there was a plus side to it all. I knew that he must have saved hundreds of lives.

“I do?”

“Yes. I imagine that over your lifetime you have saved many people either through being where there was a disaster or from your warnings. Your voice is strong and comforting, and the feeling of your hand pulling me up the stairs was the same. No, Mr. Stewart, I am anything but afraid of you, and other people shouldn’t be either.” It was odd of me to be so open, to just say what was on my mind. I didn’t even know why I did.

“First of all, call me Jim. Second, wow, thank you for the compliments.” A smile spread over his face as he stared me. I was glad I said something.

“I know it sounds strange, but I feel like I’ve known you for years. I love watching you, listening to you, and hearing your words of wisdom. I trust you whole-heartedly,” I continued.

I just wanted to move into his arms at that moment and kiss him, but I kept my composure. Instead a realization that even if I had I would never see him again. I wasn’t sure if a one night stand was what I wanted or not.

“You are very flattering. Thank you. Since we are going to have dinner tonight, might I know your name?”

I laughed realizing I hadn’t told him that. “I’m sorry. I’m Katie. Can I give you a ride back to camp? Or would you like to camp on the grounds here? It’s all up to you. I don’t mind in any case.”

“I’d love the ride back. I won’t disturb you too much. I will stay there. After all, what if we have dinner tonight, and you don’t like me?”

I laughed again. I already liked him. There wasn’t anything not to like. “There’s no chance of that.” I was nearly breathless with him next to me. I had never felt such intensity in my life. I had dated, of course, but no one made me feel the way he did.

I drove Jim back to camp and went back to the house to make a nice steak dinner, then shower, and dress in a peach blouse, black skirt, and sandals. I brushed my long, soft auburn hair wondering if I should put it up but decided to just leave it down for him. Two hours later, I drove back to pick him up. I was as nervous as a rat in a cathouse.

“Are you ready for dinner?” I asked, seeing him standing outside a large twin room tent.

“You bet. I’m starving,” he said. So was I, but not for dinner.

When we got back to the lighthouse, the sun was just going down. There was a beautiful sunset, and we looked out from up on top of the hill to watch it.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “How lucky you are to see this all the time.”

“I am,” I said as I looked at him, thinking I was even luckier to be there with him. We sat in near silence on the edge of the small cliffed hill with our legs hanging over, watching the waves come in, and the sun go down. The colors of pinks, purples, blues, and oranges drifted over the sky and water. It was spectacular. When the sun was nearly down I said, “Can I give you a small tour real fast?”

“Absolutely.”

First we climbed down the stairs to the beachfront to see the remains of the two shipwrecks. He was very interested in the things I had to say, and of course, I was interested in anything he had to teach me. I was very comfortable in telling him everything I knew, and he seemed content in hearing it all.

After that we went to the buildings on the hill on the grounds, and then up to the top of the lighthouse to see the last of the sunset. While on top of the tower, I looked over at Jim and he was looking at me with this fantastic smile on his face.

“I love it here. Thank you for the tour,” he said, as his gaze remained on me. It was all I could do not melt. There was a silence between us for quite some time.

“Shall we go eat dinner?” I finally thought to say.

“Absolutely. It smells wonderful,” and yet, he just stood and stared at me for what seemed like a long time.

To break the silence, I turned to head down the long, winding staircase back into the house. It was all I could do not to blurt out, “I adore you, Jim Stewart!”

We ate dinner in somewhat of an uncomfortable silence with small talk in between. After dinner, we went out to the cliff overlooking Lake Superior.

“That’s just breathtaking, isn’t it?” I said. The moon glowed on the lake as it twinkled up on shore. The sounds of the waves hitting the beach were calming, and the fresh scent of the woods and water together refreshed me from the inside.

“Yes, it is,” he said. I looked up at him and he was looking at me. I smiled happily. Just the thought of this man liking me back made me feel like I could fly, like anything was possible.

“You didn’t look out,” I said.

“The view is fine in this direction,” he said back.

I wondered what he was thinking, what he thought of me so far. It was obvious that he seemed to like me, but I still knew that I would probably never get to see him again. I wanted him, yes, but I didn’t want him to think I just slept with anyone.

“What are you thinking?” I bravely asked.

“That you are beautiful. That I would love to date you, get to know you.”

“But you travel all over the world. You will probably never be back this way,” I said, wishing I were wrong.

“There are ways around that, you know: The phone, Internet, take you with me, and don’t forget, since I do travel, it will be easy for me to come back here. I love it here.” I could tell from the look on his face that he meant what he said.

All of a sudden, I just couldn’t help myself. I blurted out, “I adore you, Jim Stewart. I can’t help it. I’ve watched you for years, and felt that safety whenever you were on TV. It was kind of like, well, Jim Stewart is there. He will keep everyone safe if he can. And now, with you being here, and hearing your voice next to me and feeling that safety, I just really adore you.” I knew it was my only chance, that after this week, he would be gone. I didn’t want a one-night stand, but I didn’t want this awesome man to get away from me either.

“Wow,” was all he said, as he continued to look at me. Though it was dark out, we were greeted by the glow of the lighthouse. I waited to see if he was going to say anything else. I couldn’t have been more nervous, and then he lowered his lips to mine and kissed me softly. I moved into his arms like metal to a magnet. I felt warm, like I belonged there. His arms were made for me to be inside of. His tongue parted my lips to play with mine. At that moment, the thought of never seeing him again didn’t exist.

Then he backed slowly away from me, and gave me a powerful, mesmerizing look. I felt nearly too weak to stand. Every breath that I took was slow and deep.

“Oh, Jim,” I muttered. “You take my breath away.” I knew it was so cliché, so silly to say, and yet, that’s what I was feeling at that moment. My brain wasn’t what was doing my thinking for me any longer.

“You do the same to me. There is sure something about you that has me taken. I think it’s that you are so warm, so genuine, so open and honest.” He paused for just a moment and looked at me. “And beautiful,” he finished.

“Really?”

He brought his lips back down on mine, and I took that as a yes. It was just one of those things where you meet someone and know automatically that it is right. Our kisses seemed to last forever, and yet, only a moment.

“I shouldn’t,” he said, after backing slightly away. “It’s too fast. I don’t want to scare you.”

“That’s not happening, Mr. Stewart. I am not afraid. But I don’t want you to think bad of me either.”

“That is also not going to happen. It’s so perfect here. Everything about it: the lake, the sounds, the smells, your beauty, your softness, and your kindness. I don’t want to let go of you,” he said.

“Please don’t. I want you, too,” was all I could think of to say.

Jim kissed me again, pulling me so close to him that I felt completely enclosed. Our bodies moved together like the waves of the lake. I let my hands wander under his sweatshirt. He was so fit, so strong. My hands went up over his chest muscles and lingered. He pressed up against me even tighter so I couldn’t move. His nipples were already so hard, as were my own.

Then he backed away, which took my hands from under his shirt. He smiled, took my hand and led me back inside.

Once inside my room, we kissed passionately. Jim accidentally pushed me up against my nightstand, and almost knocked it over. The drawer came open exposing a toy that I love to use upon occasion. It was a purple, plastic vibrator. I must have turned several shades of red, and he just laughed. He took it from the drawer, and I began to laugh with him.

“I’m caught,” I said.

“Yes, you are,” he said with a grin and set it on the bed. “Might need that later.”

“You might,” I said. I touched his chest again, my eyes following my hands. I smiled up at him and then let my lips go to his nipple where I licked and nibbled. My palms ran up his back and then down and over to his chest again. I felt so small against him. The feel of his muscles and the warm skin just made me want him more.

I kissed my way up his body to his lips and kissed him again, our tongues engaged. I didn’t feel that I was close enough. I kept pressing myself against him wanting to be all the nearer.

Then he slipped my shirt over my head and let it fall to the floor. My pink nipples grew larger as the cold air hit them. Jim moaned as he looked at me.

“You are so beautiful, so perfect.” His palms ran lightly under my breasts as he did nothing more than admire them. Then Jim let his fingertips drift over the ivory mounds. I quivered all over, as I ached for him to keep touching me. He brought his lips down to one as he touched the other. He lightly bit the nipple, and then used his tongue to flick over it. My hand went to the back of his head to press him against me, so he suckled as if nursing. When finished with one, he moved to the other and gave it the attention that I wanted.

Jim kissed his way back up my body to my lips again. We continued to kiss for a long time, before he pushed my skirt and black lacy panties to the floor. This left me completely exposed to his desires.

He backed away to look at me. “You are truly an amazing woman,” he said, before coming close to me and taking me in his arms. As we passionately kissed, he gently lowered me onto the bed next to the toy that would become ours. I was on my back with my feet still touching the floor. Jim laid half on top of me with his chest to mine. As he continued to kiss me, he let his hand wander over my body as his other played in my red hair.

First his fingertips slowly traveled over my left breast, circled around it, teased my nipple, then continued to wander down my curved side, my firm abs, my hips, down my left thigh, and back up my inner thigh. He let his hand wander quickly over my excited mound and back up and around my body his hand moved, never really stopping long in any one place.

Jim took his lips from mine and let them wander over my body as his hand did. I watched the top of his head as it moved down. His hand continued to wander, tease, taunt my body into aching for more, aching for him. I felt tiny licks over every part of me: down my breasts, my abs, my thighs, my knees. He got off the bed and bent between my legs. He pushed me back up on the bed and lifted my legs and feet. My knees raised as my feet touched the bed. His fingertips ran over my legs, between my thighs, around my abs, and quickly passing over where I wanted him to touch the most.

“Oh, Jim, you are driving me mad with need,” I said. I looked at him and he grinned at me. He loved what he was doing as much as I did. Then he parted my knees, letting them fall to the bed, and continued to touch my body.

“Oh, my, Jim. Please touch me. I ache for you,” I said in a moan.

“I know. I see your glistening wetness. It’s beautiful,” he said as he admired my flesh. “You beg so sweetly.”

His entire palm came down between my legs, and I nearly jumped as the heat covered me. My own hands covered my breasts and kneaded them. He rubbed me, then lightly touched me, then rubbed me again. I squirmed under his touch, pressing myself harder against his hand. And then, I felt a slight pressure against the soaked opening. His finger slid easily inside me, and back out. With the wetness, he rubbed my clit, encircling around it several times before dipping inside me again. I thrust my hips up to greet him.

“Yes, Jim. Yes,” I said, as my hands continued to knead my breasts, pinch my nipples. He continued to move one finger, then more in and out of me. I felt the pressure of him filling me deeply, then a release, which left me aching. With each thrust of his fingers, I pushed my hips forward to make him go deeper, faster. Then I saw his head disappear between my legs and felt his tongue on my hard, aching clit. I felt it move from side to side and then in circles. His fingers still filled me at the same time.

“More, Jim. Please, more,” I moaned without control. My body squirmed and moved to the rhythm Jim set for me. “I need to cum, baby. Please, please make me cum.”

I was in such a daze, such a trance of desire that I no longer knew if it were real or I was dreaming. I just knew that I never wanted it to end.

With a few more thrusts and licks, my body shook with the ultimate desire, the ultimate orgasm. I moaned louder than I had expected, my hips thrusting upward, forcing his fingers as deep into me as they would go.

“Cum, my love,” he said, and then licked my clit from side to side. He kept touching me, licking me as I came for him. His fingers slowly moved out of me, as he kneeled next to me. He bent down, a grin on his face, and he took the hard, plastic vibrator from beside me and turned it on.

I smiled up at him, knowing what was next. “Yes, Jim, use it on me if you wish.”

He put the tip of the vibrator over the dripping lust between my thighs. Slowly he put just a little into me, then back out, then a little more went into me, then back out. He teased me so much with it that I thrust my hips forward to make it go farther in.

“You want that, don’t you?” He asked.

“Yes, please, enter me,” I said openly. He seemed to love when I begged him to please me, and I loved begging. The connection that we shared was more than I had ever felt.

Jim forced the vibrator deep inside me, hitting the wall, and letting it stay there vibrating for what seemed like an eternity. His fingers went back to my clit, circling at first, then from moving from side to side. Then Jim began thrusting the vibrator in and out of me as he continued to play with my sensitive clit.

Just when I thought I would scream in orgasm, he took the vibrator from inside me and pressed the palm of his hand over my entire mound.

“Not yet, my love,” and he smiled up at me. “I will tell you when to cum.”

I screeched with joy, frustration, desire. “Oh, Jim. Please make me cum. My pussy aches for it.” I had never been that open with anyone, but I felt so comfortable. It was so right.

“Soon, babe,” and he thrust the vibrator deep into me again. This time when he slid it back out of me, it came to rest on my clit and vibrated quickly over it.

“I’m cumming, Jim,” I said at that moment. It was all I could take, and I quivered madly. Shrieks and excitement rushed out of me. Uncontrollable tears ran down my cheeks.

When my body stopped shaking, I sat up reaching for Jim’s belt to undo it, then the snap of the jeans, and the zipper. I pushed at them until he stood and helped me. He pushed them and the boxers to the floor, and stood on the side of the bed.

At first I admired what I saw, and then I emulated what he had done to my body. First my fingertips just wandered over his hard abs, hips, strong thighs, and over the very stiff shaft. I didn’t stop and touch his aching hardness; I just continued to touch his middle. The second time around his body, I stopped, lingered, and let my fingers kind of dance over his balls and shaft. I heard him moan and looked up to see him looking down and watching me. I smiled up at Jim admiringly.

I wrapped the palm of my hand around the hard shaft and began to slowly stroke him. He moaned and continued to watch me. My other hand went to his balls and tickled around them as I continued to slowly play with him. His hips started to move with my hand forcing me to stroke him faster.

And then I brought my mouth down over his cock. I slid my mouth up and down the shaft, each time taking it in a little deeper. With each thrust into my mouth, I took him in a little more. He was long and thick and I took in as much as I could.

Jim’s moans grew more intense as I continued to lick and suck on him. His hand went to the back of my head to gently guide me up and down.

“Oh, baby, stop before I cum,” he said suddenly, and he pulled himself out of my mouth.

“It’s okay,” I said.

“No, it isn’t. I need you. I ache for you. I want to fill you,” he said, before pushing me back on the bed. Grabbing his pants, his wallet, he took from a condom and as quickly as he could, he slipped it on. Then he spread my legs and guided his thick, hard cock into me. I gasped as it filled me so full I thought I would burst.

I raised my knees and parted my legs. I wanted him as deep inside me as he could get him. I pushed my hips upwards with each thrust.

“Take me, baby. Please, take me,” I said.

He brought his lips to mine and kissed me hard as he rocked with me. Our rhythm became steady for a while until the need became so intense for both us that we couldn’t stop ourselves from moving faster.

I was lost in my own world of ultimate desire as I lay under his strength and warmth. He was in me and around me and covered me. I was completely his at that moment. And then I began to shake as my orgasm took over every movement, every thrust.

“Yes, babe, cum,” Jim said, as his own body shook, and I felt the pulsing of his orgasm inside me.

“Jim,” was all I could say. We shook and rocked together, as he went back to kissing me. My arms and my legs both wrapped tightly around this magnificent man that I was lucky enough to be in bed with. The tears that had begun to drift down my cheeks returned, and I lay there crying in his arms with him still deep inside me.

When we caught our breath and stopped shaking, Jim slowly crawled off of me, but was still very near, with one leg and one arm over me. His hand touched my cheeks, one after the other to wipe the tears away, as he stared at me and smiled.

“Are you going to respect me in the morning?” He teased.

“Maybe,” I teased back.

“Just so you know, I would like to continue seeing you. I don’t want this to be just something we did once,” he said. “I’m not like that. I swear.”

“Well, I was hoping, but I would have understood if it was.”

“You aren’t getting away from me that easy.”

He kissed my lips again and again, and we spent the evening laughing and playing together like we were teenagers until we fell asleep together.

I woke up in the morning to the sound of something crashing through my bedroom window. I screamed out from a sound sleep. Jim jumped right out of bed, and for a moment, neither of us knew we were awake.

“Oh, what the hell was that?” I said, before I realized what was going on. A tree limb had smashed through the window. The curtains nearly blew right off the wall. The wind was blowing so hard that things were blowing around my room.

“Oh, my God. This is what I get for not paying attention to the weather,” Jim said. “We have to get to the shelter! Quick!”

He put just his pants on very fast, and I threw on just my thick, fluffy, pink robe. He grabbed my hand, and pulled me running through the house, and out the door to the cellar. He pulled the door to it open. “Get in!” For a second, I stopped to look at the dark clouds overhead, things were swirling in all directions. I looked out over the water. I had never seen waves that high before. There were trees bending so far over, I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t snap. Then I saw it. There was a funnel cloud off in the distance. It was headed our way.

“Go! Get in there!”

“But the lighthouse,” I said. More than ever, I didn’t want anything to happen to the lighthouse. It had been there for so long. I didn’t know if it could withstand that kind of force.

“Nothing you can do about it. Now go,” he said and pushed me inside, and shut the door. He didn’t follow me inside.

“JIM!!!” I screamed so loud that it hurt my throat. Tears formed in my eyes and quickly ran down my cheeks. “Please get in here. Please get in here.” I stood frozen. I tried to force the door open but it wouldn’t budge. The wind pressure on the door was too intense.

I heard sounds outside that I had never heard before. It was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself scream. I didn’t know if it sounded like a train like people say, but it was very loud. I could hear trees cracking as they finally broke and fell. I could feel the ground shake. I could hear glass break. I was so afraid for Jim, the lighthouse, and myself that it made it hard to breathe.

Then suddenly the door to the cellar opened and I saw Jim’s face. He rushed down the stairs with me and shut the door behind him.

I grabbed onto him so tight that I wondered if he could breathe.

“Why didn’t you come down behind me? Are you okay? What’s going on out there? Is the lighthouse still up?” I yelled, in between crying and gasping for air.

“I’m okay. Let’s get back here,” he said, and pulled me back to a corner of the cellar. It was a little quieter and felt a little safer, but I was still frightened.

“What were you doing?” I said, still having to yell.

“I called someone to get the word out that this is here and headed north.”

I grabbed onto him again, not wanting to let go. We stood against the wall, his body covering mine as we listened to what seemed like endless crashing outside the cellar.

“We will be okay,” Jim said, over and over. “Don’t worry, you are safe.” He held me tight, and made me feel very safe, but I was still worried about the house. I was so happy that I had him there with me, for me. At that moment, he just meant everything to me.

After what seemed like forever, the noise diminished and all was still and quiet. It was almost more eerie to hear the stillness.

“Ready to go see the damage?” Jim asked.

“Yes. I just hope the lighthouse is still there.”

Jim took hold of my hand and we slowly opened the cellar door and emerged from its depths. What I saw was truly an amazing sight. There were trees, broken glass, pieces of wood, and debris everywhere. The golf cart and my car were still there, and looked unharmed, and the most amazing sight was that the house and lighthouse were still there in one piece. There were a couple of broken windows, and some siding off the side of the house, but overall, it looked good.

I ran to the edge of the cliff at the lake to see what was out there. The shore was littered with debris, but under the water, the remains of the two shipwrecks were untouched.

Jim came up to me and took me into his arms. It suddenly all hit me. Jim being there, the tornado, the house in one piece, and the tears started to flow down my cheeks. I was more grateful than I had ever been.

“Oh, darling,” Jim said, as he took me into his arms. “It’s okay now. The storm has moved away. You are okay. The house is okay. It’s a mess, but nothing that can’t be cleaned up.”

I cried on his chest as I felt his warmth and comfort. I heard the calming sound of his voice, and yet, it still took me a few minutes to calm down.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lose it,” I said, when I caught my breath.

“It’s okay. No one expects you not to after going through such an ordeal,” he said. He gave me the most comforting look, and I felt so much better for a moment.

“I’m so glad you were here. I probably would have died if you weren’t,” I said. Everything happens for a reason, I thought. He was meant to be here, to save me.

“You would have been okay. Our survival skills tend to kick in when they are needed. I have faith that you would have made it. You are a strong person.”

“I’m glad I didn’t have to find out,” I said, with a half smile. “Thank you.”

He kissed me softly as he held me tight. “We are going to get this place back together,” he said.

“We?” I asked.

“That’s what I said. You won’t be alone,” Jim told me, and then brought his lips to mine again, and even though we had just met, I trusted him, because he made me feel safe, warm, and cared for.

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