For the First Time
By Noelerin

Author's Notes:Please, I'd like some feedback. Just so I know that we're all alive here. :-) This has absolutely nothing to do with any of my other stories! I was in an HR mood tonight. :-) The title comes from the Steve Wariner song I used. It's from his "Two Teardrops" album, and I really played with the lyrics. It's a fabulous song (of course I love his music!) I recommend it.

Sinbad stared at Bryn for a heartbeat, then pulled her into an impulsive embrace. He saw the surprise enter into her eyes seconds before he kissed her. There was an electric shock as their lips met and held. Their minds became one as time became timeless in this place, though the sense of danger remained in the backs of their minds. Bryn could think of nothing but him, and he of her.

And for the first time
I am looking in your eyes
For the first time
I'm seeing who you are
I can't believe how much I see
When you're looking back at me
Now I understand what love is, love is,
For the first time.

Sinbad he finally broke the contact with her and looked into her dazed eyes, saw her uncertain smile.

Are those your eyes?
Is that you're smile?
I've been looking at you forever
Yet, I never saw you before

Nothing in all his life had prepared him for such an intense experience, it was like a total merging of mind and soul with someone. His heart sang one name, Bryn's. And all his numbed mind could think of was, "Now I feel lucky." Not exactly what he wanted to say, but at least he could say something. He kept his eyes on her as he went below, thinking dimly all the time: I have to survive and come back to her.

Bryn watched him go down, her insides tied up in knots. She knew he'd make it, but then what? Out of all the confused emotions Bryn felt, the one that came blasting at her with perfect clarity was love. The love she'd been denying that had existed inside for Sinbad since first she saw him. When he came up and she saw him look at her, there was something in his beautiful eyes that she'd never seen before. It reminded her of the way Firouz and Velda looked at each other. She almost went to him but Taryn beat her to the punch.

Bryn shoved aside the jealousy that shot through her. *I should've known. It meant nothing to him, nothing at all. She walked away with the guys and never saw that Sinbad's eyes were on her the whole time.

He watched her walk away and felt a powerful blow to his heart, he pushed Taryn away. He walked over to her father, "The ants are gone, this should become quite a trading center. I'm sorry if I've caused any embarrassment to you." Sinbad refused a reward, then walked away without a backward glance. All his thoughts were focused on how to make it up to Bryn. *How can I tell you that when we kissed, it was the most incredible experience of my life? That no other woman touches me like you do. That I want no one else. Would you believe me? Give me a chance?

"Sinbad! Wait up!" Taryn called after him, panting as she tried to catch up with him.

His manners made him stop and turn to her, "Yes?" He impatiently asked, one eyebrow lifted in curiosity.

"I didn't know you and she were close. I'm sorry." Her penitent look was sincere.

"We aren't, yet. But I hope we can be." Sinbad ran a hand through his hair, smiling bitterly. "She probably thinks that our kiss was nothing to me, but it was everything. But she means so much to me, always has."

"If it's any consolation, I think she'll give you a chance. She thinks you're absolutely wonderful." Taryn said, trying to encourage him.

"You think?" he asked hopefully

"She cares a great deal for you. Her eyes follow you, I've never seen such absolute trust between two people ever. You are so lucky." He nodded, then she turned away. "I really am sorry."

"I know, I thank you." Sinbad got aboard the Nomad and endured the teasing of his crew. He was fine with it until Bryn pitched in, he looked into her eyes and saw nothing there that gave away her feelings. *Taryn was wrong, she could care less. Thankfully he saw Firouz examining the shoreline and went to talk to him.

Bryn watched him go away and sighed, it hurt so much to hide her feelings from him. But it had to be done, it would never do if he found out that she loved him and would do anything for him. *Why? Why do you go to others when I'm right here? I'd do so much for you, Sinbad.

For a while, things were a bit awkward between them. But their friendship helped them through this squall and they talked as they once did, but there was a new, yet old, awareness between them.

Can this be real?
Can this be true?
Am I the person I was this morning?
And are you the same you?

Sinbad watched her with Ajeeb, he couldn't help but see her with her own baby in her loving arms. A baby, no he corrected himself, not just any baby, his baby. It pained him to think of her with anyone else.

It's all so strange
How can it be?
All along this love
Grew right in front of me.

Bryn took off her shoes, mentally kicking herself. There, you're a natural. She'd said to him after she got him to hold Ajeeb. *Oh, I sounded like a fool! But she couldn't help but see him with a baby his own. Dermott's warning pulled her from her thoughts and then she wasn't thinking much after that.

Sinbad stood at the tiller, guiding his ship and smiling thankful to be alive. About a week had passed since their encounter with Scratch. He was finally able to think about it clearly. Sinbad shuddered when he recalled hearing Scratch say he was expecting his crew, especially a certain witch who'd been driving him absolutely crazy for the last few months. All he could remember was his fear for Bryn. How truly devastated he'd be if he lost her. He closed his eyes, feeling that pain once more. It would be nothing compared to how he felt when he lost Lea, and that was a horrible experience. How could she be so dense about how he felt for her?

Such a long time ago
I had given up
On finding this emotion ever again
But you're here with me now
Yes, I've found you somehow
And I've never, ever been so sure

"How indeed. Did it ever occur to you that she needs to hear it?" A familiar voice said.

His eyes opened slightly, then widened in shock. "Lea?" The figure just nodded, "Why do I get the feeling you don't mind that I've moved on?"

"I never wanted you to live in the past, Sinbad. We had something special, but we were young. You are a man now, a man who needs the love of a special woman. She's below, and she needs you as much as you need her."

"Then I should tell her."

"Yes, you should. And soon."

"Thanks, Lea."

Bryn couldn't sleep, through her mind Scratch's words taunted her, over and over that scene played in her mind. The sound of a knock on her door drew her from her dreams, "Bryn? We need to talk."

Her hand smoothed back her hair as she pulled on a robe and went to the door. She opened it a crack and saw Sinbad there, "Can't it wait?"

He pushed the door open and sat on her bunk, "No. This conversation is a few months overdue. Can I ask you something?" He didn't wait for her to respond, but went on. "Why is it that you strive so hard to make happy endings for everyone, yet make not the slightest push to secure your own? Especially when that one involves me?"

"What?" Bryn asked, dumbfounded. She weakly slide onto the floor in front of the door. "What are you talking about?"

"Think about it. Right now, you are campaigning for Firouz and Velda, The Gryphons nearly killed us, yet you stood by them. Donella and Tetsu, Aidan and Kaitlan-you didn't know them and nearly died to help them. You pushed to help the village under the Gorgons attack. Have I forgotten anything? Oh, yes. Uruk. If it hadn't been for your unfailing trust in him, I might have given up. There are many more I'm leaving out in the interest of time."

He got up and held out his hand, pulling her to her feet and into his arms. "Bryn, don't you realize that you mean more to me than anyone I've ever known? When I met you, it was like meeting myself. We are so alike."

She looked at him in surprise, it was like he was reading her mind. Bryn opened her mouth but he closed it gently, "No. Allowing you to talk had gotten me into this trouble. We've wasted so many months because you refused to talk about that kiss and the magic that happens when we touch." He caressed her cheek lightly. "What we have is so special, so rare. Why do you want to throw it all away?"

Are these your hands
Holding mine?
Now I wonder how
I could have been so blind.

"But you can't keep me silent for the rest of our lives. I didn't say anything because I was so confused, especially after Taryn got to you. Throw it all away? Sinbad, I never thought we had a chance. There were all those girls." She shadowed her eyes, but he'd seen the pain in their depths.

"What is it?" Bryn stayed silent, "Tell me, Bryn."

"Maeve. She's always there. I was afraid that I'd just be a replacement to her." She said it like it caused her pain, "I don't mean to doubt you, butů"

"She's always there and I never told you much about her." Sinbad sighed, "She was a member of my crew who was seeking Rumina. I'll not deny that there was an attraction between us, to do so would be unfair to you. But we were always at each other, she never really trusted me. At times it seemed like she thought she had something to prove, to us and to herself. But she had a different life, the sea was never really her home. She is driven by other goals that have nothing to do with my life's path."

"Did you guys ever kiss?"

"Once, but it wasn't very memorable. It was one of those "I'm so relieved you're not dead" kind of things. If she came back, she would be in no danger of being kissed." A wicked look entered his eyes, "You, on the other hand, are another matter entirely." He kissed her lightly, but it still made her head spin.

"But what about Taryn?"

"If you had stayed for just a second longer you would have seen me push her away. She gave me quite a pep talk. Why did you walk away?"

"I was so hurt, and I wanted to do you some damage. I had never felt so alive, so free before. It hurt me to think that it meant nothing to you."

"Let me tell you something, it meant everything to me. Do you know how long I've been scheming to get you into my arms?" She shook her head. "From the first moment I saw you."

"But what about all those other women?" Now that they were clearing the air, she felt comfortable enough to ask him about them.

"I despaired of your ever noticing me, they just help out-except Taryn. They all knew how I felt about you, but you were so aloof. You never let on about how you felt."

"Well, I had to protect myself somehow. I wanted to claw their eyes out for touching you. Then I wanted to beat you up but I believe I already mentioned that desire."

He laughed, "What a jealous cat you are. I give you my full permission to do so in the future if ever I give you reason to." Sinbad kissed her then, she melted into his embrace. They forgot time and place as they stood there, together where they were meant to be.

And for the first time
I am looking in your eyes
For the first time
I'm seeing who you are
I can't believe how much I see
When you're looking back at me
Now I understand what love is, love is,
For the first time.

They finally drew apart, breathless. It was like that first time, and yet it was more. There were no distractions, no hurry, it was just the two of them. "Bryn, do you have any idea about what you do to me?"

"If it's anything like what you do to me, then WOW!" She smiled shyly, still a little nervous to have him here and to find that he cared about her. "And you are mine? You haven't said it, you know." He looked worried. She was his best friend, his confidant, and the woman he loved more than his life. He knew how he felt, he knew that she desired him. But he wanted to know how she truly felt, this wasn't a game.

Bryn smiled slyly, "Well, I don't know. This is all so very sudden." Then she looked up into his worried eyes and saw what he really wanted to know, reading what he couldn't say to her. He was as afraid of these feelings as she was. Suddenly, the desire to drag out the suspense left her. It wasn't a game. "Of course I'm yours. I always have been. Don't you know how much I love you?"

He closed he eyes in silent thanks. Then he tenderly held her, vowing never to let her go. "Thank goodness. I don't know why you chose me after all I put you through, but I'm so very thankful that you did. I love you so, my Bryn."

The End

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