Dreams and Satin Sheets
Author's note:  Hello again.  I just wanted to take this time to tell you that if my plans work out as I am hoping they do then Scott and Josh will be getting married on August 25th.  Meaning that, that is when I hope to have chapter 14 posted to both the website and nifty.  I also wanted to let you know that in this chapter I have decided to shake things up a bit.  I have realized when I reread D&SS in it's entirety that it seems a little too unbelievable.  As you read on I hope that you agree and I also hope that this chapter doesn't ruin the entire story.  I might even change my mind before it gets posted but with any luck it will all go as I envision it.  Now on with the show. 
Chapter 13:  Trouble in Paradise
**Josh's POV**
I sat on the bed listening to some defenseless florist take a verbal thrashing from Scott.  I have noticed that in the past couple of weeks he has become more quick tempered and it seems as if I am almost walking on eggshells around him.  Earlier in the day I had spoke to Pat who said that this was normal when Scott was trying to deal with something.  I was left wondering what he was dealing with because he never seemed to talk to me anymore.  My thoughts were interrupted soon enough. 
"Fucking stupid assholes," Scott said as he stormed into the living room. 
"Something wrong baby," I asked him.
The look he gave me nearly made my blood run cold. 
"What the fuck do you think?" he growled. 
I guess my face must have portrayed what I was feeling because his face softened. 
"I'm sorry angel," he said leaning over to kiss me, "it's just that I've been trying to deal with the manager of the floral shop downtown who I am happy to report will one day make a fine eighth grader." 
I had to laugh at his statement and he only leaned his head back on the sofa and sighed loudly.  I could see the lines on his face now and his eyes looked as if he hadn't slept in a month.  I know that he has been working hard at the hospital and with planning the wedding and everything but I was beginning to wonder if something else was wrong. 
"It'll be okay baby," I tried to comfort him. 
"I don't know," he said exasperatedly. 
"What makes you say that love?" I asked softly. 
"Ohh I don't know Josh," he snapped, "we are supposed to be getting married in 34 days and I can't get anything done."
"We'll make it baby," I tried reassuring him but to no avail.  
"Really? Cause at the rate I'm going now we will have no music, no flowers, the guests will have to sleep in our floor and bring their own food to the wedding where they can watch you and I stand up there and get married by the minister that I haven't found yet, in our underwear!!" he said with increasing volume. 
I had known that Scott was having trouble but I had no idea that it was anything so drastic.  I had offered on many occasions to help him or to even hire someone to plan it for us.  He had insisted that he could do it and to just leave everything to him.  I had grudgingly agreed on each occasion but now it seemed that I had almost no choice. 
"Baby, why don't you go upstairs and take a nice hot bath and get ready for bed.  I'm gonna take a shower down here and I'll be in bed waiting to give you a nice massage." I said kissing his neck. 
"Mmm that sounds so good," he said quickly pecking my lips then trotting off upstairs. 
I walked over to the phone once I heard the water running upstairs and made a call then went off to take a shower. 
**Scott's POV**
Last night had been heavenly.  Josh had given me a wonderful massage and then we had made love for an hour or so before drifting off into the most peaceful sleep I could remember. 
But this morning had been hell.  In the past two weeks I had gone from being a mere lab tech to the assistant supervisor.  Our supervisor had been forced to resign because of pressing family matters out of town.  Since she left things had been in near chaos.  It seems that some of the other lab staff was not happy with my being promoted and weren't taking any measures to hide it either. 
I sat there at my desk looking over an inventory report completed the day before.  I noticed that the writing was messy and it appears to have something spilled on it.  I started grumbling that they wouldn't have pulled this shit with Deb and then went off in search of Alan, one of the newer techs who had made a complete mess of the chemistry lab. 
"Alan!!" I shouted when I walked out of my office. 
"Yeah," I heard him answer from somewhere to my left. 
I walked over towards the lounge area and saw him sitting there playing a game of solitaire on the computer. 
"Would you mind telling me what the hell this is?" I asked throwing the inventory report at him. 
"The inventory that I did yesterday." He said going back to his game. 
"This is not the type of work I expect from you, or anyone for that matter." I said becoming angry. 
"Well then I'll redo it tomorrow," he said nonchalantly. 
"You'll redo it now, since you have the time to play solitaire you undoubtedly have time to do this inventory, which was due two days ago." I said somewhat louder than I had intended to. 
"Ok I guess," he said. 
He got up and brushed past me on the way to the chemistry lab. 
"Mr. Thompson!!" I nearly yelled walking into the main lab. 
He stopped in his tracks and every head turned as he turned to face me. 
"Yes" he said. 
"I expect to be treated with some degree of respect being that I am your supervisor." I began and as I spoke I felt my blood come to a steady boil.  "I did not work as hard as I have to get where I am to be treated like shit by some stupid rookie who can't even complete an inventory report correctly.  So I expect to see a change in your attitude rapidly and I also expect that report on my desk by 3 this evening.  Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes. Sir." He said slowly and deliberately. 
I looked around at the others who were staring at me. 
"Does anyone else have a problem?" I asked them. 
No one said a word but no one moved either. 
"Then I suggest you get back to work." I said flatly. 
Still no one moved. 
"NOW!!" I yelled. 
If I had been in a better mood it would have been quite comical to watch everyone scrambling to find something to work on but instead I just turned and walked back into my office slamming the door. 
About fifteen minutes later I heard a knock on my door while I was trying to find an invoice from last week. 
"Yes" I said. 
I heard the door open then shut and when no one spoke I looked up to see Janine standing there with her arms crossed. 
"Hi Scott," she said softly. 
"Hey, how are things going?" I asked. 
"That's funny I was going to ask you the same thing." She said. 
"They're fine why do you ask?" I said. 
"Ohh I don't know it's just I was wondering why my assistant supervisor practically ripped a tech head off and almost single handedly alienated our entire staff. 
"He needed to redo the inventory and I didn't like his attitude." I said flatly. 
"Is that reason enough to call him a stupid rookie?" she asked. 
"Look Janine, I admit I might have went off a little out there but I don't think we'll be having problems out of Alan again.  And I will apologize to him when he brings me the report later." I said. 
"Is everything alright Scott?" she asked. 
"Yes I told you everything is fine!!" I said becoming irritated. 
"Are you sure?"
"Yes everything is fucking great, just fucking peachy!!" I said loudly. 
"Scott..." She started but didn't have time to finish. 
"Janine, I am not gonna hang around here and be badgered by you and probably Alicia,  I have a million things to do and quite frankly I don't wanna be here right now.  I finished all the paperwork and everything is fine except the inventory from chemistry which you should have later." I said standing and gathering my things. 
"Now if you'll excuse me I am going home to work on some things I'll make up the hours at the end of the week." I said breezing past her and out the door and past Alicia who was just getting ready to knock on my door when I yanked it open. 
I walked briskly through the lab and opened the door slamming it behind me and I didn't even flinch as I heard the glass in it shatter.  I was pissed off and didn't care.  I walked quickly up the stairs and clocked out before going outside and getting in my car and peeling out of the parking lot. 
**Josh's POV**
"Hi there," I greeted the young woman, "I'm Josh Parker won't you come in." 
"Hello there Mr. Parker I'm Michelle, will your fiancÚ be joining us?" She asked. 
"No, Scott is at work right now I wanted the two of us to meet together and talk a little first." I said slowly. 
I directed her to the sofa and she thanked me when I offered her the glass if iced tea.  We made idle conversation for a few minutes then she directed us back to the task at hand.
"Okay Mr. Parker let's get down to business," she said pulling out a clipboard and pen. 
"Certainly, and please call me Josh." I said. 
For the next hour I tried as best I could to give her the details of what Scott had planned thus far.  When she asked about the invitations I went to the hall closet and brought one of them back that we hadn't mailed yet. 
"Ohh they're gorgeous," she said, "where did you find them?"
"Well my wonderful fiancÚ designed them and had them printed up.  He even wrote them himself." I said. 
"Sounds like quite a man," she said with a smile as she read the invitation.  
At that very moment I heard tires screeching to a halt in the garage and before I could get up to go see what was happening Scott barreled into the room.  He threw his things around and finally stopped moving when he saw me. 
"Hey baby," I said softly, "what ya doin home so early?"
"I have had a really bad day so far and decided to leave early." He said while rubbing his temples. 
"Wanna talk about it?" I asked him forgetting that Michelle was still sitting there on the sofa. 
"No," he said finally noticing Michelle, "And just who are you?"
He must really be in a bad mood because I've never heard him be that rude to someone he just met. 
"Ohh Scott this is Michelle, Michelle this is my fiancÚ Scott," I said making the introductions. 
"How do you do Mr. Williams," she said politely. 
"A pleasure I'm sure," he said abruptly, "Now would you explain why you are in my house??"
"Scott, there is no need to be rude," I said trying to calm him down, "I've asked Michelle here so we can go over the details of the wedding."
"For what reason??" he asked me.  Ohh boy this wasn't gonna be pretty. 
"Because, I've asked her to help plan it." I said slowly. 
"YOU'VE WHAT!!!!" he yelled. 
"Now baby calm down," I said, "let's talk about this."
"There is nothing to discuss Joshua," he said vehemently, "I don't want her help and I sure the fuck don't want her in my house."
"Baby," I said slowly, "You need help with all this stuff, and Michelle can do that for ya." 
"I believe I've made myself clear Josh," he said then turned and walked out of the room leaving no room for debate. 
"I'm sorry Michelle," I said to her, "he's not usually like this, I'll call you later and we can meet when he is calmed down."
"There's no need to apologize I know how frustrating all of this can be," she said, "in the mean time I'll make a couple of calls and see what I can get done." 
"I appreciate that," I said escorting her to the door, "Thanks for everything."
When I had closed the door I turned and headed for the patio where I knew Scott would be sitting.  When I reached the door I saw him sitting there at the table puffing a cigarette and sipping from the glass sitting beside the vodka bottle. 
"Scott?" I asked walking out on the patio. 
"What?" he asked sharply. 
"Well I was wondering if you wanted to talk?" I asked. 
"About what?" he countered. 
"Well for starters about how you scared the hell out of our wedding planner." I said. 
"Your wedding planner," he corrected. 
I looked over at him and saw his eyes.  They were as dark as the sky which at this time was signaling an approaching storm.  The dark clouds were rolling overhead and the wind was starting to pick up. 
"Baby I know I didn't ask you about Michelle," I said, "but you need help." 
"Well I know that things aren't going very well right now but I will fix them." He said. 
"In less than 34 days?" I asked and as soon as the words left my mouth I knew they were the wrong ones. 
"Thanks for reminding me Josh," he said downing the liquid in the glass, "as if I don't have enough to worry about you have to remind me that I have about a month to get this wedding thrown together."
"I'm sorry baby," I said sincerely, "but that is why I hired Michelle so you wouldn't have to throw our wedding together at the last minute."
"Well that would be better than having a complete stranger plan the most important day of my life!!" he yelled at me. 
"Baby listen..." I started. 
"NO, You listen Josh!!" he screamed, "I thought you trusted me enough to plan this wedding.  To make sure that everything is perfect on the day we are married.  Obviously I was mistaken.  So since you don't trust me enough to do that and insist on finding someone else to plan it, perhaps you should find someone else to marry as well."
"You don't mean that baby," I started feeling the tears come to my eyes. 
"The hell I don't Josh!" he said, "if you don't trust me then I can't marry you." 
I felt the tears spilling over my eyes and I turned to go in the house.  I stopped when I reached the door. 
"I'm sorry boo," I said then continued into the house. 
I ran upstairs and grabbed a bag out of the closet and threw some clothes in it.  I went into our bathroom and grabbed blindly for my toothbrush and the few items I would need for now.  I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my keys and cell phone and ran to the garage.  I tossed the bag into the passenger's seat and wiped the tears from my eyes. 
As I backed down the driveway I saw that the dark clouds were still rolling and as I put the car in drive the clouds opened up and it began to rain.  I drove aimlessly but knew that I couldn't stay there with Scott.  The look in his eyes when he told me he couldn't marry me chilled me to the core. 
**Scott's POV**
"I'm sorry boo," he had said. 
Since I had screamed and yelled at Josh those words of his kept replaying over and over in my mind.  I still sat on the patio although it had started to rain.  I could hear the thunder in the distance.  I had lost all will to live and nothing else at this point mattered.  When I heard Josh's voice and the defeat in it I had gone numb.  I thought about the pain in his voice and it made me physically ill that I had been the one to put it there.  
It has been like I am not in control of what I am doing anymore.  I stay agitated and the least little thing just sets me off.   Like earlier with Alan, I hadn't meant to berate him in front of his co-workers like that and certainly not to yell at him and call him stupid. 
And then after that with Janine.  I almost cussed her out.  That is not like me at all.  And then just now with Josh.  I would rather jump in front of a freight train than to hurt that precious angel. But yet I just basically told him to leave me alone, get out of my house, and to not even think about getting married. 
I sat there in the rain and I felt wetness on my cheeks.  I normally would have thought nothing of it because after all it was raining but this was warm.  I realized that I was crying.  I was crying because I was angry, because I was sad, and because in the space of 1 day I had fucked up my entire life. 
I began sobbing sitting there in the rain and as the storm raged on so did my tears.  I sat there crying so hard that I eventually slid down out of the chair and onto the ground.  I sat there crying until I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I managed to compose myself long enough to look up in hope of seeing my angel.  That hope was dashed when Rick's worried face came into focus.  I began sobbing all over again. 
"Scott, What's wrong," I heard him ask. 
I was still sniffling and wailing but managed a strangled "He's gone."
"Who hun?" he asked as he sank down on the ground and cradled me in his arms. 
"Josh," I wailed. 
"Where is he," he asked, "Why did he leave?"
"Me," I continued as lightning crackled across the sky. 
"Scott, listen to me right now.  You get your ass up and in that house and calm down and tell me what happened." He said sternly. 
I continued crying and he softened a little. 
"Scott, we'll fix it," he said gently, "now please come inside." 
I reluctantly got up and leaned on Rick for support.  I was still crying and I couldn't see where I was walking.  He had been at my house so often that he knew where to find everything and he sat me on the couch and went off through the kitchen. 
He returned a moment later carrying a glass of water and a towel from the downstairs bathroom.  He sat down beside me and wrapped the towel around my shoulders while I took sips from the glass.  He sat there holding me while I managed to find some form of composure. 
"Now, you wanna tell me what happened?" he asked. 
"I fucked up," I said simply. 
"How so?" he asked. 
"Well it is a long story..." I began. 
Over the next hour I relayed to him the events leading up to the fight Josh and I had.  In between bouts of crying I managed to tell him the whole sordid story. 
"Well is it any wonder." He said flatly. 
"What?" I asked sniffling. 
"Scott I have known you for years.  Since I have known you, you have been an extremely dedicated and almost obsessed person.  >From what I have gathered you originally dove into your work to escape from your past.   To try and forget about Lee." He said cautiously. 
"What's your point?" I asked confused. 
"Scott, you haven't slowed down.  You have kept up this insane pace for years now and that is what has caused you to finally break.  You are so worried about making your wedding perfect that you have placed yourself under a mountain and you can't get back out.  You have tried so hard that you have stressed yourself out to the point that you broke.  All Josh did today was try to help pull you out from under all that..." he said
"Yeah and I bit his head off and hurt him," I said starting to cry again, "I made the sweetest man alive, my angel, cry."
"Yeah, but we'll fix it," he said. 
"How?" I asked. 
"You've got to talk to him." He said. 
"I don't think I can."  I said. 
"If I look into his eyes again and see the hurt that I placed there, see my angel in pain, pain that I caused him.  I don't think I can Rick.  If I see my angel hurt like that again it'll kill me." I said. 
He stood up and went to get his coat.  He stood there by the door and then looked back at me. 
"Well either you talk to him, or you've lost him." He said and then turned and left. 
Those words hit me hard and I started crying all over again.  I walked upstairs and collapsed on the bed.  I laid there and sobbed into the pillow.  When I breathed in I could smell Josh's scent.  I wrapped my arms around his pillow and pulled it to my chest while I continued to cry. 
I was so tired but I couldn't sleep.  After my body refused to shed anymore tears I laid there and cradled the pillow.  If I closed my eyes I could almost imagine he was there with me.  After laying there for over an hour I had managed to pull myself together for the most part and I realized what I had to do. 
I got up off the bed and slipped on my shoes.  I grabbed my keys and bolted downstairs.  I tore through the kitchen and into the garage.  My car was sitting there where I parked it and I got inside and started it. 
As the engine came to life I pushed the remote control to open the garage door and  backed out almost taking the top of my car with the still ascending door.  I flew down the rain drenched streets and jabbed mercilessly at the radio trying to find a suitable song.  The windshield wipers were having a difficult time keeping up with the volume of rain that was pouring from the sky.  I barely made out the sign for the exit and turned sharply onto the road. 
I continued up the road and hoped that my reasoning was right.  If I had guessed wrong then I don't know what I gonna do.  I continued my drive on the winding road and the station I had left the radio on began playing a song that I recognized instantly.  I reached over and turned up the volume to an obscene level and continued my drive. 
As the road ahead of me widened I heard the opening chords of the perfect song for my situation.  I pulled over beside the road and placed the car in park.  I stared ahead blankly and watched as a shadowy figure turned to look at my car.  I could barely make out the figure against the backdrop of the stormy sky. 
Lightning flashed and then as the song's first line started I slowly opened my car door. 
In the morning,
When I wake dear,
Your memory comforts me.
In the darkness,
When I'm frightened,
I can see you in my dreams.

I stood and watched the figure move a step closer.  I moved away from the car the door left standing open but I didn't care.  As I moved closer I could see the swollen eyes from the crying he had been doing.   
Though I'm far dear, Though we're parted,
I know that time can change nothing.
So if you feel afraid,
And if your hope is gone,
Just remember all these things I promise you...
As the song played on I continued walking and the more I walked the faster until I was running.  I looked up to see the figure running towards me.  The song's tempo was slowly speeding up as we ran toward one another.  And when the piano struck the chords loudly I crashed into the figure and his arms wrapped around my back. 
"I'm so sorry baby, I'm so sorry," I said over and over again with my face buried in his neck.  I couldn't hold back the tears and I felt them being washed down my face by the still pouring rain.  We stood there holding one another while the song continued. 
I will move heaven.
I will move hell and earth to be where you are.
I will move heaven.
And it may take one life,
And it may take forever,
But I promise you.
As I sail through,
Stormy seas, dear,
You come to still my heart.
As I walk through,
The path of danger,
You lead me through the dark.
Though I'm far dear,
And though we're parted,
I know that time can change nothing.
So if you fell alone,
And if your faith is gone,
Just remember all these things I promised you...
I will move heaven.
I will move hell and earth to be where you are.
I will move heaven.
I will move hell and earth to be where you are.
I will move heaven.
And it may take this life,
It may take forever,
But I promise you...
I promise you
When the song ended we still stood there holding one another.  I looked up into Josh's face and saw his smile.  He turned and carefully led us over to a spot we had been before.  We stood there on the cliff and watched as the lightning flashed across the dark water. 
As Josh wrapped his arms around my waist we stood there watching the stormy sea.  It was kind of symbolic of my emotions.  My mind flashed back to earlier in the day and I started crying all over again. 
"What's wrong baby?" Josh asked me softly. 
"I hurt you so bad, and I didn't mean it," I started rambling, "I didn't mean to hurt you so bad baby I am so sorry." 
"Shhhh, it's okay baby." He said turning me to face him. 
"But I hurt..." I began. 
"But you fixed it baby," he said. 
"How?" I asked. 
"Because you're here baby," he said tearing up, "You found me when you had no idea where I was.  You came all the way out here in this storm just to find me and tell me you are sorry."
"I had to find my angel." I said taking his hand in mine and placing it on my chest. 
"I love you so much Scott," he said crushing me against him. 
"I love you Josh," I said, "I thought my life was over earlier."
"Why babe?" he asked innocently. 
"Because I thought I had lost you," I said looking deep into his eyes. 
"Ohh baby, you're not ever gonna lose me," he said looking deep into my eyes. 
I started crying all over again and with the crying came the rambling. 
"I am so sorry Josh, and Michelle can plan the wedding, she can make the food and even sing I don't care as long as it is you that I am marrying." I rambled on. 
"Shhh, baby no more of that, we can worry about that tomorrow, right now let's go home." He said laughing. 
"Okay," I said. 
It was so good to hear his laugh.  This may have only lasted a few hours but I felt like I had aged 20 years when I had lost Josh.  He started to walk away but I held his hand and pulled him back to me.  He looked at me questioning but I just pulled him to me and held him tight to my chest as we stared over the dark water. 
We didn't need words to communicate, as we stood there on that cliff where we had our first date nearly a year ago our souls were speaking softly to one another.  I felt like I could hear Josh's thoughts and that now that I had him in my arms again I was once again complete. 
I don't know how long we stood there but it didn't matter.  The storm began to die down and so did the raging water.  I needed this.  I needed to be reminded of what I had almost lost today.  As I stood there watching the last few clouds move past to reveal a starry sky I made a solemn promise to myself.  I would never EVER make my angel cry again.  And it was a promise I intended on keeping. 
We eventually parted and went to our cars and began the drive home.  When I was in the car I couldn't wait to get back in Josh's arms.  I noticed what Rick had been talking about.  I realized then that it had been so long since I had enjoyed Josh's embrace.  I had been in it many times but I hadn't reveled in it like I loved to do in at least a couple of weeks.  As I was thinking my foot kept pressing hard on the accelerator and before I knew it my house zoomed past.
I laughed as I went down the street and turned around.  I was just pulling into the driveway when I say Josh getting out of his car inside the garage.  I was still laughing when I got out of my car and the door started to close. 
"What's so funny baby," he asked. 
"I was in such a hurry to get back home and into your arms I passed up our driveway." I said. 
He giggle softly and I continued to laugh. 
"I love that sound," he said. 
"What?" I asked still chuckling. 
"You laughing," he said, "I haven't heard it in a while." 
"I know," I said sadly.  
"I was getting worried baby," he said truthfully, "don't scare me like that again."
"I promise baby," I said then kissed him quickly, "now let's go get in bed, I'm sleepy."
"Sure thing babe," he said before intertwining our fingers together and leading me upstairs. 
We disrobed and slid between the cool satin.  I noticed Josh shiver slightly so I pulled the comforter up over us.  He was laying with his head on my stomach and I was nearly in a sitting position.  I could feel his breathing already slowing and his body was relaxing against mine. 
"Goodnight my angel," I said leaning down to kiss him on his head. 
"Goodnight boo," he said groggily, "I love you."
"And I love you." I said. 
He was asleep before the words were out of my mouth but he cuddled closer to me in response.  I looked down on this angelic figure lying on me and I reached over to the nightstand and took out the pen and pad of paper I kept there.  I wrote exactly what I was feeling and then looked down at what I wrote.  I noticed I had a single tear in the corner of my eye.  I wiped it away and then folded the piece of paper and placed it in my wallet.  I would find a better place to hide it in the morning so Josh wouldn't be able to sneak a peak at my wedding vows. 
I snuggled down in the warm blankets and Josh clung to me tightly.  I kissed the top of his head and rubbed my hand up and down his back. 
"I'm not going anywhere baby," were the last words I remember before drifting off to sleep with the man I love wrapped tightly around me. 
To Be Continued...
Songs used: 
Judith Owen "I Promise You" (VERY VERY good song)