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Subject: Chapter 201 (Part 2) (16 and above) - (end of chapter 201)

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Date Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 07:29:49am
In reply to: KatherineGilbert 's message, "Dreams in the Dark - Chapter 193 and onwards" on Thursday, July 07, 07:06:24am

He had to close his eyes, the sigh rising, as he tried to pull himself back into the present, but it was difficult to escape the enormity of the world's madness. Sooner or later, he feared that it would affect her--far more deeply, more personally, than any horror over the suffering of others. And, if he and others didn't stop it first . . .

He didn't let this thought go on, wouldn't allow it--willfully forcing the fears somewhere into the back of his mind. There were other dangers which his beloved faced just now, far more pressing ones. If he ever hoped to protect her from the madness of world events, he would first have to save her from enemies far closer to home.

This truth echoed in him, goading all his fierce need to see her safe to the surface; it took an effort of will not to run from the room, not to go find her where she was dressing, and guard her all the way down the aisle. Perhaps the fact that *Bundle of Sorrow* was only half-finished would protect them, would keep Madeline from acting just yet--all the earlier parts of the romance still needing to be filmed--but it was difficult to say. It was their wedding day, after all--was the time their enemies had probably planned as best for their attack; his hands clenched. And with the start of their honeymoon tonight . . .

His breath was growing ragged, his rage rising, as he analyzed all the possibilities before him--nearly drowning in the fury of it all. He wasn't sure what would happen. True, their official honeymoon was only a three-day weekend they would spend at his--at *their*--house, but this gave their enemies all the more opportunity to attack. Perhaps the scope of this latest news might distract them, as well--clearly upstaging the focus they would need from the country to succeed in their plans--but it might also prove the best cover. If Hillinger, or Jamie, could make his move while everyone was distracted, it could mean less attention paid to anything in the aftermath, helping them get away clean--or that would be their plan, at least; he had to take a deep breath, his eyes closed--the thoughts killing him. There was just no way to know when he would need to protect her the most.

He was caught in these concerns, wasn't certain how to go forward. Still, it was Helmut who voiced his fears, clearly understanding. "Madeline's less likely to act now. She'll wait till this settles down."

Michael forced himself to cross his arms again, trying to keep himself under control; it was an ever-increasing battle, his voice gruff. "There's going to be a war. Nothing will settle down." Something in him tightened. He had almost preferred it when he had known that the tutor was likely to strike tonight; it had given him a target. If he just had to be on the alert 24 hours a day . . .

He wasn't certain how to handle this, his body nearly shaking in frustration and rage. What he really wanted to do was revert to his adolescent self--punching the walls in frustration--but that was clearly foolish. He would need his hands healthy in order to protect her.

He almost knew that the banker was waiting for him to get back under control before he spoke, and he didn't blame him; he was feeling decidedly dangerous. Still, the man's voice was calm, as he analyzed the situation. "The papers will be full of this for the next several days." They all knew that the real preparation for the war would grow over the next few weeks; it didn't need to be said. "But, if we don't enter it yet, it will settle down some after that." Michael looked back to him, his host's gaze so logical, but there was a strength and disgust evident, too, as he continued. "They'll wait until there's a routine again to strike."

This made sense, in many ways, but it didn't help the actor's mood, his eyes still burning. "So I just stop sleeping, until they decide the time's right?" His look drifted in frustration. It made "waiting for the other shoe to drop" sound decidedly amusing.

Lord. This wasn't a good day--certainly wasn't the sort he had been intended to be. Helmut's only real consolation was that this wasn't the pair's real wedding day, only their public one; something in him soured. Still, if it were taken as an omen for the public reception of their union . . .

He shook his head slightly, trying to put this thought away--knowing there was no use to any of them in it; his gaze met the actor's again, trying to bring some solace. "I'd meant to give you this as a wedding gift but not under these circumstances." He rose, turning to him. "I've hired some bodyguards. They'll take turns patrolling your house, will keep an eye out." His look grew more serious. "Especially at night."

Great. Michael had to close his eyes, the frustration tightening further. Still, he didn't want to be rude, certainly didn't want to say any of the things he was thinking. Helmut had always been a friend to them--was doing what he felt was best. It wouldn't do any good at all, if he just started screaming.

He didn't, then, only spoke his concerns. "And no one in the neighborhood will think it strange that men are wandering around my house at all hours of the night?" It couldn't exactly be said to be normal.

Mm. The banker realized this but wasn't deterred--understanding the man's real objections. After all this time and preparation, the actor wanted to be the one to defend the woman himself. Neither of the pair would feel the victory was real, if they weren't the ones to end this threat.

He didn't speak these truths; none of them did, as much as they all understood them. His look was level, quiet, wanting to convince the man. "They'll get used to it. And my men are very good at their jobs. There'll be no questions." He could see Michael's mind moving, answered before he could speak. "They won't be in the way--no footsteps in the night--but they'll be there, if you need them." He could see his guest's objections but didn't allow them, his gaze growing more serious. "Even if you turn them down, I'm sending them. I suggest you get used to it."

Christ. Michael's eyes closed tightly, holding his emotions in; he needed to, if he had any chance of not exploding. Still, he knew the man's motives were generous, understood that all their friends only wanted to see them safe; it would have encouraged him, if he weren't feeling quite so crazy. It took him a second to speak, his look a forced calm. "Thank you."

Helmut shook his head, not wanting to tax him any further. "I didn't do it for thanks. Now . . ." He clapped his hands together, trying to bring some air back to the room, forcing a smile. "Whatever the world's woes, we're here with a purpose, correct?" Michael looked at him cautiously, his whole form still tense, and his host forced his smile to brighten. "Why don't we go meet your beautiful bride?"

It was with these words that the three men began to move, knowing there was no more opportunity to stew--knowing it would do no good. Whatever their fears, this wedding had been long in coming, shouldn't be delayed any further. It might not fetch the same sort of coverage it would have on any other day, but it should still be done; a small smile finally emerged from the actor. He had waited a day over eleven months to make his marriage to his beloved official, to be able to live with her; a deep determination grew--the anger still boiling. Hitler, Madeline, and the rest of them be damned. He would finally have Nikita as his wife.

Extra notes: If you're a WWII buff, you'll probably know that this takes place on September 1, 1939. I admit, however, that I'm not certain what time it would have been in California when Hitler's attack on Poland started. If I've screwed things up terribly, please forgive me. My focus, admittedly, was more on my own story.

About the lack of determination on America's part to enter the war, as well, much of this had been brought about by the disillusionment World War I had caused. For many, an interest in world affairs--all those things that happened somewhere seemingly very far away--only brought about the deaths of loved ones, the depleting of resources; it seemed wiser to simply keep to our own affairs and let the world sort out its own problems. For others, there was a lingering pacifism caused by WWI, a disgust with what seemed to so many, after the fact, to have been a war without a purpose. For these people, the prospect of another war seemed like more of the same unnecessary aggression--Hitler just another created threat to throw us into more of the same old belligerence. It took quite awhile before the majority of the country changed its mind.

[End of Part 201]

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Quick posting note . . .KatherineG.Thursday, July 28, 02:57:50pm
    hiatusskTuesday, August 02, 04:31:38pm

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