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Subject: Chapter 229 - Part 1

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Date Posted: Monday, March 20, 06:59:21am
In reply to: Katherine Gilbert 's message, "Dreams in the Dark (chapters 221--?)" on Monday, February 13, 07:24:07am

Dreams in the Dark (229/?)
by Katherine Gilbert

Things, overall, were not looking good; "terrible" might be too bright an assessment. Still, at least they were home now, were away from the woman Nikita felt so strongly betrayed by. She looked up from her tears, to the bedroom she and her husband shared. If only it were going to continue to be theirs for much longer.

This thought alone nearly brought about a new crying jag--the reaction an inevitable one, given such news, the fear and anger mixing volatilely. But the display only made her angrier--hating herself for such weakness. No matter how much she knew that her husband didn't judge her for her tears--was looking for no opportunity in which to attack her--she couldn't help it. She had been taught for far too many years just how dangerous such fragility could be.

She was fighting the reaction heavily now, her whole body shaking lightly in the effort--worn out with the extended horror of the last several months; a few weeks of relative peace had done little to revive her. Her husband saw this truth, yet again, and hated it--angry at the world for all it had so intentionally done to harm her. But this was the cruelest cut of all, for both of them; his gaze brushed over her tenderly. To think that he might never get to see his child . . .

There was too much pain, too much irony, in this thought--all of it impossible to ignore; he turned from her for a second, taking a steadying breath, while she too fought for control. But it was all too much. Even if he understood that they were lucky to have been spared by Jones, were perversely fortunate to even be alive to be facing this situation, such recognition did neither of them any real good--the "businessman's" wrath making any real peace impossible; the rage simmered deep within his soul. That man's definition of fatherhood was perverse, at best.

This truth was long-established, certain from the start; regrets couldn't change it now. Michael's sigh went deep, as he looked blankly up to the ceiling--bracing himself to discuss it with his wife. But the very fact that they were facing it all again, were to be so constantly tormented by the man, no matter how deeply they loved each other, was wounding. Whatever his most willful intentions to survive it, there would never be any avenue away from the pain.

He pulled himself together in the next moment, turning back to her, needing to help her through--as well as either of them could hope for such a bounty. Still, a thought came to him, a question he hated: would Jones have allowed them their peace together if they had never been in love? Or was it simply the fact that some creature on earth had found true devotion which goaded him out of any sense of control?

The actor sighed, having no answers to this mystery, as he made his way back to his wife--his heart aching all the further at seeing her repressed tears. He wasn't certain why she held them back. As much as he knew about the cruel, early forces which had shaped her, she had no need to brace herself against him; his mind moved back to Jones's surprise messenger tonight. He alone, it appeared, would never willingly hurt her.

This hadn't always been completely true, but he couldn't bear to think of the exceptions to this desire; there was already too much pain. Just in leaving her, in being forced into whatever army Adrian had planned, he was betraying her-- making false all of his many promises, possibly breaking the last of her will. Even if it weren't anything like what he desired, were an outcome he would happily give up, given half a chance, that wasn't consolation enough. He was the cause, yet again--however tangentially--of her pain; the fist which was furthest from her clenched. And that alone was simply too much torment to bear.

He sat on the bed next to her, trying not to think into these truths, needing to hold them all back. His own torment was of only mild importance now, what lay in store for him a subject for another day. It was his poor wife the world had ruthlessly tortured for so very long, she who had to bear up under the burden of waiting and wondering; his head shook, hating it all. Even if the prospects before him were desperately dim, it was almost worse to be the one left at home, wondering every minute whether the one you loved were safe. At least he would be able to see whatever dangers he would face.

It was partly this truth which moved him toward her, increasing his need to comfort her, to delay any focus on his own future peril--knowing that he would never survive the reverse, waiting through even a day of such uninformed torment to hear about her health. But there was more to his desire, as well. Partly, it was the fact that his poor wife had already been through so much, had seen so many enemies; the death Hillinger had plotted for him looked kind in comparison to the plans the gunman had had for her. His heart clenched further, as the truth sank in. In fact, all her life, this precious woman had been imperiled by men, had never found any safety--especially in the maternal figures she might otherwise have turned to, none of them any real protection. From the grandfather Roberta had run from, to her mother's evil-intentioned boyfriends, to Fanning and Hillinger--and even her own brother and father--Nikita had never been safe. Every man in her life, it seemed, had either wanted to rape, kill, or torture her--frequently all three at once; the shudder ran deep, as his hand lay gently over hers, gaining her desperate, if loving, eyes. It just wasn't fair that a woman whose soul was as beautiful as hers should have to fear men, rather than receive their warmest worship.

He couldn't help the sorrow this thought brought him, his gaze adoring her. For all his experience of the world, all the truths he knew, there was no deeper sense to any of these facts. Any man in his right mind should adore this woman; his sigh was quiet, deep. But he supposed there was very little sanity in the world anymore.

All of these truths moved him to try to discuss the matter with her, needing to console her--as much as such a feat were possible now--but they weren't his only reasons for repressing his own fears. Perhaps it was partly that he was older than she was, felt the need to nurture her in ways that every other man had ignored. But it wasn't really a paternal feeling--not at all. It was more the sense of having been given the most precious sort of gift; his arm moved around her, drawing her close. He could bear his own, most-cutting and lingering sorrow a thousand times better than he could her most transient second of pain.

He could feel her calming, as he held her close--his thoughts continuing, as he wished to God that he had something more he could give. But perhaps his greatest fear for her at the moment came from another cause. No matter how true all of his desire to comfort her would always be, the fact that she now carried a child--*his* child, unbelievable miracle that it was--was perhaps the most tangible reason why he simply couldn't bear to see her in even a moment of pain.

It was this truth which was constantly threatening his sanity during her pregnancy, even her very brief bouts of morning sickness leaving him in the most wracking sort of fear. While he knew that she was strong, that she would undoubtedly be well during all of these months, her smallest sign of discomfort worried him even more deeply than it normally would. Perhaps it stemmed from how abysmal a father he had been before--the term barely even applying to him, given how little he had been around for all of his son's life, and his utter inability to even protect Simone long enough to nurture her to the point of birth. But he just couldn't shake the feeling that he didn't deserve the pleasure of sharing a child with her, didn't deserve such happiness. Maybe hurting her would be God's way of evening the books, of working off some of his past sins; he closed his eyes tightly, holding her that much closer. But he just couldn't bear the possibility that he might, once again, be the cause of her pain.

It was this sense of guilt which was destroying him now, his fears for her desperately heightened--helped none at all by his doubts about Madeline's plans for her in his absence. It was clear to him that the tutor knew about Adrian's deal with Jones--even if she might not understand the entire cause behind it. This was what she had been leading up to, Nikita's grandmother working together with her to bring it about; his hand spasmed slightly against his beloved's arm, before he forced himself to calm. But none of these truths helped either of them anymore.

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Subject Author Date
Chapter 229 - Part 2 (end of chapter 229)KatherineG.Monday, March 20, 07:01:08am
    welcome back KatherineelderMonday, March 20, 11:47:25am
    chapter 229skTuesday, March 21, 07:10:48pm

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