The Unbroken Circle Chapter 7

John pushed the door to the lair open with a force far greater than necessary. "Okay John Henry, I'm here. What is so damn important that it wouldn't wait until...." John froze.

John Henry was not alone. He appeared to be talking to a young woman. She was slightly built with long brown hair tumbling down her back and dressed in one of the castoff coveralls favored by the tunnel inhabitants. Her face was partially turned away but he immediately recognized the profile. A cold knot of fear formed in John's stomach. It was Allison Young.

Shit, shit, hell, damn, shit, the litany of curses raced through his mind.

"Allison,what the devil are you doing here?" The secrecy of the lair had obviously been compromised but John could not grasp how it could have happened.

"How did you find...."

John's words ground to a stop as the young woman turned to face him. This couldn't be Allison. There was no tunnel pallor. Her face was pristine and unblemished, her hair was clean and carefully brushed. And then she smiled. An expression of sweet shyness flavored by a hint of conspiratorial eagerness. He knew. He knew. It was the smile of a New Mexico school girl.

John tried to speak but it was as if great hands were wrapped around his neck, constricting his throat, grinding his words down to a raw whisper. "C...Ca...Cameron?"

If he could have seen anything else, heard anything else, John would have been aware of the broad smile on John Henry's face. He would have heard Catherine now back in her female form enter the room behind him. But all he could hear or see was the young woman who spread her arms toward him and softly whispered "Come with me if you want to live."

Perception matters. To John Connor each step across the room felt as if his feet were encased in lead and walking in tar. Each movement toward her seemed to fill an eternity. To Catherine Weaver John practically flew across the room, his boots barely touching the floor.

Cameron's arms encircled his neck. Her face tilted up to meet his gaze as he cupped her cheeks in his hands.

"Is it really you Cameron?"

"Yes John, it's me. It really is me."

John knew instantly that she was telling the truth. Looking into her dark brown eyes he saw the the same expression of devotion and unwavering commitment that he had seen more than three years ago. Then she had allowed him to cut into her body to prove that her power source had not leaked radiation that would have hurt Sarah. She had done that for him. She had done so much...for him. John pulled her into an embrace and buried his face in her hair. "Oh Cameron. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." His voice shook with unmistakable anguish.

"Sorry for what, John?"

"Sorry that I ever doubted you, ever hurt you, ever spoke to you in anger. Please forgive me."

Cameron pulled back slightly and looked into his face. There were tears in his eyes. "John, none of that matters. I love you. I love you and I know that you love me. I will never leave you again. I will never lie to you again. You will be the center of my life as long as I exist."

Without hesitation John answered "As you will be...as you are...the center of mine. I will love you until I die." And then he kissed her. The first time their lips had ever met and the passion was beyond measure. They clung to each other with a focused intensity that shut out the world. Existence itself could be ending but John and Cameron would have been oblivious to it. At some other time John would have questions about how this miracle had transpired. But now neither those questions nor answers mattered. He held Cameron in his arms, her body pressed against him and he could taste her lips, soft and sweet with his own. That was the only answer he required.

John Henry quietly joined Catherine at the entrance to the room. "Well, John Henry, have we healed the broken heart?"

"I believe we have healed two. I believe we have restored both love and hope to Captain John Connor."

"As do I," Catherine agreed, "As do I. Then I believe we are ready to go."



Chapter 8

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