She woke at noon, refreshed despite her short sleep. She showered and changed, then took a hearty meal with her friends in the cafeteria. She had apologized to the girls. "I'm sorry I ruined your hike." Her voice was still a little strained.
"Hey, you didn't," Colleen assured her. "We had great time just being in on this thing. We've decided we're going out again tomorrow morning."
"Just take another route to those caves, okay?" Lindsay laughed.
"Oh, yeah!" assured Jenny. "Oh, and I’m sorry I hit your friend."
Lindsay's eyes sparkled. "He's fine; he really is."
"You love him!" Jenny said in wonder.
"Love him? With everything that I am," she answered softly. She stood up. "And I really have to get back to him. Let me know before you leave."
"We will," Megan responded, and Lindsay walked away. "Did you see her face? Anybody want to bet she doesn't leave here alone?"
Nobody took that one.
When she got back to Connor's room, she found Peter in her chair. He had been catching Connor up on some of their more interesting cases. "Hey, you look a lot better, Linds." He got up, stretched, and smiled down at Connor. "Good to see you again, buddy."
"You too, Peter. See you later." They shook hands, and Peter left, looking happier than he had in the last three years.
Lindsay kissed him as she resumed her seat, and they locked their right hands together. "How did the testing go?"
"Uneventful. How did the sleeping go?"
"Uneventful," she laughed, then stopped. "It was uneventful. I didn't have that dream again."
"Yes. Every night for the last several weeks. But I could never remember it, until–"
"Until the other day, out on that rock," he finished. "Me, too. Someone was talking to me, but I could never see her or make out what she was saying."
They smiled at each other in wonder, then Connor became serious. He rubbed his right thumb over her fingers meditatively. "Lindsay, I do remember Egypt–parts of it, anyway; and I do remember how much we loved each other. Do you still feel the same?"
She raised his hand to her lips and kissed the back of it, then caressed it. "Oh, yes."
He smiled. "Well, I've been thinking a lot all day, and–"
At that moment Anton came in. "Well. All the tests came back perfect. You are in excellent health, I'm glad to say."
"Great! When do I get out of here?"
Anton laughed. "You'll have to take that up with Dr. Royce. So–how soon will you be coming back?"
Connor glanced at Lindsay, then looked back at Anton. "That's just what I was about to discuss with Lindsay. I've been thinking about these three years I've lost, and about being tired of traveling all the time. Anton, I'm not coming back. I'm going to resume my professorship some-where and"–with another quick glance at Lindsay, "hopefully–start a family."
Anton caught the look and understood. "That's wonderful, Connor. I'll leave you two alone, then."
"I’m resigning too, Anton," Lindsay addded, her shining eyes on Connor’s face. "I go where he does."
"I'll look in on you later." At the door he turned. "I'm going to miss you both."
When they were alone again, Connor looked at Lindsay. "I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to ask you first, honey. Am I assuming too much? Would you mind being a staid, old professor's wife?"
It took a minute for her to control her voice long enough to say, "Don't want ‘staid, old' professor. Want you."
Connor laughed. "Does that mean you'll marry me?"
"Any time, any where, under any circumstances, and in any kind of ceremony you want to name!"
He laughed again. "Is that a ‘yes'?"
He opened his arms. "Then come here, my love, and kiss me."
Which she did, thoroughly, and with great joy.
They were married that evening in the hospital chapel, surrounded by their friends. Anton gave the bride away, and Peter and Colleen were their attendants. Their vows were standard, with the exception of one thing: Instead of "‘Till death us do part" they substituted the phrase: "Forever and ever, Amen."
And with their union, that fragile, slender thread of hope became an immutable cord of gold.
The heart that has truly loved
But as truly loves on to the close;
As the sunflower turns
To her god when he sets,
The same look that she turned
When he rose.