... no truer words were spoken.


Actions Speak Louder Than Words

By:  M. J. Cogburn and C. E. Krawiec

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The waves crashing on the shore seemed to take Johanna Royden's problems and whisk them away seemingly to another dimension.  She stood on one of the many walkways above the beach, leaning her body against the railing as she focused her thoughts on the waves crashing a little over fifty feet before her.  They were constant -- never failing and it made her complacent to know that she could always count on them.


She sighed softly.  "I wish..." she proclaimed as she closed her eyes.


Deep velvet softly spoken undertones whispered back to her:  "You never have to wish for anything Johanna.  Whatever you want, no matter what it is, I'll be there to make it right."


She tenderly smiled at the uttered words.  "I wish..." she said once more just as softly.


"Just tell me, Johanna," the velvet tone whispered tenderly into her ear.  "Just say the words, baby, and we can be together forever.  Johanna, all you have to do is say, 'I do'." 


Johanna turned her head toward the voice that was ever so close to her and she could smell the sweet fragrance of his cologne and she knew that Vaughn was as close as she could get him.  "I... I do," she whispered.


"You do what, Johanna?”  The soft velvet undertones were gone; it was a different soft voice now that was now ever so close to her. 


Johanna opened her eyes and cut her eyes to her right and saw Inmon Fitzpatrick out of the corner of her eye.  "I do not know how you can always find me and sneak up on me without me knowing that you have found me, Mr. Fitzpatrick."


A shocked expression came over Inmon's face.  "Mr. Fitzpatrick?" he questioned as he looked around him for a brief moment.  "He's here?  Where?  Where is my father?"


Johanna's countenance completely changed as she took a step toward the young man and lightly swatted his arm.  "Oh you."


In actuality, Inmon had stumbled upon Johanna's presence at one of the fenced promenade walks overlooking one of the shallowest beach areas of the island.  It was one of the lesser visited areas available to the island's inhabitants, yet for a small number of those inhabitants, Inmon Fitzpatrick among them, it was a quiet sanctuary.  For Inmon another reason, more personal to him, was that he knew that looking out over the endless ocean from this location he was also looking in the direction where his beloved Ireland lay.  Now, with the mention of his father, a twinge stirred in him.  For a second he wondered how his family was but then he let it fade as a chuckle became laughter when Johanna swatted his arm.


"Why are you beatin' up on me?" he teased, deftly and casually fended off a couple of more swats.


"How about for being a wiseacre," Johanna retorted, as she resumed her relaxed leaning on the fence.  She only slid an amused warning glance at Inmon as he moved nearer and turned his gaze toward the sea. For a moment, perhaps longer, she studied his profile as the last rays of sunlight began to spatter over the ocean's surface.  There was no denying, silently, that the way the cool salty air ruffled his black hair drew her gaze to the Irishman's strong profile.  Johanna didn't examine her thoughts too closely as her gaze roved over her unexpected companion, not wholly displeased that he had interrupted the quiet time she had sought out here. 


‘You are definitely easy on the eye, Mr. Inmon Fitzpatrick,’ Johanna considered silently.  Her only response when Inmon chose that moment to turn his head and catch her studying him, was to smile softly.


"Penny for your thoughts," Inmon said softly, shifting his position to face the attractive Senior Observer.  Johanna's expression at that moment, as the last rays of sunlight bathed her face, was one he knew would always be fresh as this moment in his memory.


Johanna tilted her head slightly to the side and took a deep breath.  "I'm just wondering how I'm going to be able to get away from you finding me all the time, Inmon," she said with a grin, knowing that her thoughts of Vaughn were going to stay locked up as tightly as she could keep them.  She also wasn't going to give the Irishman a big head by knowing that he was one handsome devil to boot either.


Inmon moved slightly around to the back of her, placed his hands on her shoulders and began to massage them.  Within the last three months, Inmon had learned quite a bit about Johanna, especially her weakness for a wonderful, relaxing, therapeutic massage.  Intent on easing the stress from her shoulders, Inmon only replied, "Oh now, come on.  If I never saw you again, you wouldn't be able to get these totally awesome, radical massages from me that you so seem to enjoy."


If I never saw you again?  Just the thought sent a subtle involuntary cold trickle down Johanna's spine. Closing her eyes and dropping her chin down a bit as Inmon's thumbs traced firm relaxing circles up and down the back of her neck, Johanna refused to entertain that thought further.  "Ohhhh that is heavenly," she murmured instead as the last of the tension that had threatened to bring on a headache, vanished.


For a couple of more minutes, neither Inmon nor Johanna said anything as he deftly and skillfully massaged her shoulders.  Neither, in truth, wanted to break the spell of the chance of uninterrupted privacy.  Perhaps...


"Damn," the single barely whispered expletive broke the silence when the security lights situated all around the perimeter of high walls and fences came on just at that moment.


Johanna slightly bowed her head when Inmon's hands fell away from her shoulders and she turned around to him and opened her arms, pulling him into a hug.  Leaning slightly back away from him, Johanna looked up into his face, her eyes searching his for a single moment that seemed to last forever.  "Thank you, Inmon.  You always are trying to make me feel good and I..."


Inmon raised his finger and placed it upon her lips to stop her from saying anything else.  He moved his hand back down to where the other one lay just above her hips.  "I wouldn't do it if I didn't care, Johanna."  He couldn't help but glance at her lips.  They were so close and inviting and he hadn't tasted them in such a long time.  He licked his lips as he looked deftly into her eyes.  "So, if I have the opportunity to make you feel better - even if it's for a moment, I'd be glad to do it."


There it was...the invitation. It wasn't the first one that had been proffered to the Senior Observer in the last few months by one Inmon Fitzpatrick.  The debate concerning now being bandied back and forth by her conscience was simple...


Will I or won't I accept the invitation?


As her heart began to beat a trifle faster, Johanna dark gaze never broke from her companion's blue eyes.  It was, seemingly, a sudden strong gust of cool air crawling down the neck of her jacket that answered the unvoiced question.  Before she could examine the 'why' more closely, Johanna placed her palms against Inmon's chest and in a smooth move, leaned up and tasted his lips softly.  Breaking the kiss only just enough to separate their lips, Johanna opened her eyes again and looked up into Inmon's steady gaze then kissed him again, reaching up to twine her arms around his neck.  Then, as suddenly as the passion had risen, it was broken as their lips parted.  Her emotions were too close to the surface to risk anything more and so, Johanna stepped back, figurately, as well as physically from the man who had quietly and without appearing to do so, found a small place in her heart.


"Johanna?"  Inmon asked, keeping control of his desire to sweep his companion into his arms and kiss until she was breathless.


Johanna backed up a step more before turning her body back out to look out across the ocean.  Her mind was racing franticly.  Here is a man who is a true constant in my life.  A man who cares for my well-being -- who showed it daily without fail.  He checked in on me, took me out to dinner, walked me home, and within the last few months had become a bit more than a friend.  And yet….


“Johanna?” Inmon stepped toward her; a confused look on his face as he wondered what he had done wrong that had made Johanna move away from him.


And yet…’  Her mind continued to race on as her gaze fell on the lights that played on the water even at this distance.  ‘Where’s Vaughn been?  He’s not been here to even check on me.  He’s been to busy to even call or write.  I should have talked to him that day so long ago.  I should have…’


“Johanna?”  Inmon had very carefully moved up to her side and placed his arms on her shoulders before slowly moving her tentatively into view.  His touch was more than enough to bring Johanna out of her pensive behavior.  She gazed up into the Irishman’s light blue eyes wonderingly.  “Johanna, if I’m moving to fast, I’m so…”


Inmon was never able to finish his sentence before Johanna moved quickly into his arms and pressed her lips to his.  For several long moments, Johanna and Inmon’s bodies were held close as the passion of the kiss grew then slowly ebbed as Inmon caressed her face within his hands.  Not wanting to stop, but knowing that they couldn’t be left outside or the wrath of Lothos would be down upon them, Inmon slowly leaned back to look wantonly into the lovely brunette’s eyes.


Johanna still saw the question in his eyes, but instead of verbalizing it with words, the Senior Observer moved her hand down his arm and placed her hand in his, intertwining their fingers as she did so.


Without a word, Inmon took his cue, and together hand in hand, they walked back to the complex.  By the time they were in the elevator, Inmon glanced down at their hands still locked together, then looked at the lovely woman before him and smiled.


Although the floor had been selected and the car was descending already to its destination to the women’s living level, Johanna’s eyes never departed from Inmon’s and she returned the smile.


The mounting tension that filled the small cabin of the elevator eased only slightly as the doors slid silently opened.  Johanna’s grip hadn’t eased and as she moved slightly to step away from Inmon, he eased his hand gently out of hers.




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