|Subject: **Chapter 300** - Part 1 (16 and above)
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Date Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 07:06:20am
In reply to:
's message, "Dreams in the Dark - continues with chapter 289 >" on Monday, June 18, 06:55:17am
Extra warning: This part is rated 16 and above for some light sensuality.
Dreams in the Dark (300/?)
by Katherine Gilbert
Fortunately, not everyone's night was quite so saddened as Helmut and Kate's--the other couple they sought to protect far more settled. Still, that this was the last evening they would spend together for quite sometime--possibly forever--kept them from knowing any more expressive form of joy. All they could do was be near each other--and pray to any deity listening that they would be reunited safely soon.
This was the hope they kept fervently close to their hearts, their need for it intense--but it didn't make this last evening any easier. For all they wanted to spend every second of it in each other's arms, wanted to try to forget about the sadness to come, it just wasn't possible. There were still a few issues they needed to discuss, before any deeper sort of understandings could be found.
He was, surprisingly, standing with his back to her now, staring out the window, his hands in his pockets--hating the shock he had forced her into once again. He had just revealed what he too had only learned today, the fact which worried him more than a little--hating to pass on any more concerns to his wife. Still, he didn't want to hide them, knew that she would be justifiably angry, if he did. However much time it might steal from them, he would greet her with absolute honesty now.
Her shock was obvious, however--his own not small, when Rene had told him of it earlier. "A baby? Helmut and Kate?" Her gaze moved off, feeling appalled for what seemed to be no particular reason. After all, they were both good people, would probably make wonderful parents; they were even the godparents the actors had chosen--well, they and all the others in the truer couples in their home--in case anything should happen to little Adrian's real parents. Still, the thought of what would be needed to gain such an end--the sacrifice it would entail for both of them--seemed far too great; she felt a terrified shiver run down her back. To think of anyone forced to give in sexually to a person they didn't desire . . .
The shiver grew greater, although her husband failed to notice it, still turned away. For some reason, he felt rather guilty revealing such details to her--although Rene had certainly meant them for her ears, as well. Maybe it was just her delicate condition, the fact that he didn't want to disturb her any more than strictly necessary; the sigh reigned, his head dropping. But maybe there was a far stronger reason for it than that.
He tried to explain the couple's reasoning, his hands fisting in his pockets, bracing himself to move on--damning the information for stealing time from them both. "If they have a child, they're safer. Even Hedda will have to stop questioning them." Not that, fortunately, she had done this in public yet.
It had been a near thing, once or twice--only the other couple's deals with the columnist saving them. Still, . . . "With a child, . . ."
"Don't," she begged, making him turn to her--seeing the tears in her eyes; his heart went out to her instantly, moving quickly to sit beside her on their bed, taking her hand. He just sat there, giving her strength, waiting for her to explain--but it clearly wasn't easy, Nikita barely able to meet his eyes. "I can't . . ." She broke off, looking even more upset than before, glancing away. "I don't want to think about sex with anyone but you."
This wasn't a particularly logical objection, on its surface, was certainly less than coherent. Still, he put his arm around her, drawing her near to kiss her hair--understanding completely. For his wife, who had been so close to rape more than once in her life--who had grown up with the terror of it as a brutalizing constant--the concept of any woman simply giving into a man entailed all the terrors of prostitution. And this was an idea which couldn't at all be separated from rape.
This had always been the truth for the woman, seeing the hell her mother had sunk into the cause of a fear far too all-encompassing to describe. It was impossible for her to even imagine marrying a man she didn't entirely, desperately love--the thought of such a wedding bed an endless torment. To imagine, then, the couple she dearly cared for forcing themselves to consummate a relationship which neither of them could possibly want was torturous; her shivering only increased, her husband holding her close. But that didn't mean that they would be protected from it at all.
This fact was scarring, brought back instantly all the terrors she had long had to face--all the ones her own father would be only too happy to force her to live in for good. Still, she couldn't quite put it into words, could only hold onto Michael's arms, as he held her near--her tears unavoidable, words less-than-clear. "I couldn't ever have been close to anyone but you."
In many ways, this fact healed him, was one he planned to long keep in his heart. Still, it was also a torment--on so many levels. In a way, he almost felt guilty--for all the lovers of his past. Perhaps, he had cared for some of them; perhaps, he had always tried to treat them well. Of course, men weren't expected to be as virginal as women--his relationship with Nikita probably not half-so-fulfilling, if he had had less experience to bring to it. But none of that really aided him now.
He let out a long sort of sigh, whispering his answer--his understanding. "I know." And he did. But, for all the healing it gave him to have been her one and only lover, part of him still wished that he could have offered the same in return.
There was another side to this wish, of course--one he had only thought through a few times before, the facts far too painful. It was not only that he had not been at all virginal for her but that the child she carried was not even his first. In many ways, there was little new of himself he could offer her, little untouched territory for her to claim; he sighed lightly. But he supposed he would have to settle himself with the fact that this beloved woman's desires never ran toward conquest.
He tried to, forgetting for awhile the truth. While he had not been innocent, on many levels, before her, she did have a part of him no other person had touched--his soul. It was a prize he had barely realized existed to be given away, before.
It was Nikita alone who had restored such a treasure to him, who had allowed him to realize he still possessed it. Often, he had thought that he had relinquished it years ago--had probably forfeited it in the accidental conception of Adam, if not long before. Certainly, in the year after Simone's murder, he had been sure that there was nothing left of him--his heart a burned-out relic, his soul long ago drifting off into dust. It had only been in seeing his future wife that he had realized that life still existed; he held her more closely, kissing her fair hair. And it was a realization which had given him an entire universe he had never imagined before.
It was these facts which made up his guilt, however, his terror--yet again--that he was not good enough for her, that he had little to offer. Perhaps she was everything to him--that was a given--but his gifts in return were lacking. Millions of men would be only too happy to father her children; many more--even in these Depression-wracked times--could give her far more security than she currently knew. Perhaps pleasure alone was the one joy he could show her; his sigh was silent. But it wasn't nearly enough to make up for her creation of his soul.
These fearful thoughts undermined everything she had just said--all those facts he knew so well of her. Still, especially with his departure looming so close--only hours away now--it was impossible not to fear. Loving a goddess such as she could easily cause any mortal man terrible bouts of inadequacy.
Nikita, of course, felt exactly the same about him, fearing suddenly that he would find somebody new--too many truths arguing against her previous good fortune, knowing it couldn't last. For much of their life together, she had always been nearby. Even over the last few months, he had been in training, had been hidden away on some base, surrounded by men. But now he would be sent to another country, would inevitably be seen as a prize catch for the most beautiful and aristocratic women there; her shivering returned, despite herself. It was just hard to imagine that he would actually wish to return to her alone.
These were the sort of fears they had struggled with for much of their marriage--but the last few months had made them especially intense. Every second of distance made them question their good-fortune, fearing that such happiness had to be a dream; she felt his lips brush over her hair and cried all the harder, the terrors taking hold. There just had to be some other woman who would be only too happy to bear his child.
That there had been--more than one, in fact--didn't help her anxieties, making the fear of losing him which the approaching dawn would ensure in body seem only too likely in every other sense. That he feared exactly the same with her didn't reassure her. There just seemed too many obstacles to face to have any chance of victory for them now.
That one of these major obstacles had possibly been circumvented this evening meant little, at the moment--her gratitude for Hedda's help, her hopes for Madeline's belief in their schemes, far outweighed by the fear. If her beloved Michael went to war, was lucky enough to survive it intact and conscious, only to return to her with less than a desperate desire to continue their marriage, what would she do? She gave another shudder, entirely uncertain. Whatever it was didn't bear thinking about. But it was impossible to ignore the terrors just now.
It was fortunate--for both of them--that they were interrupted at this point, a small tap on their bedroom door alerting them to their visitors. It was only Michael who found a steady enough voice to issue an invitation to "Come in." But both of them were about to discover just how soul-saving a good helper could be.
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