[ Show ]
Support VoyForums
[ Shrink ]
VoyForums Announcement: Programming and providing support for this service has been a labor of love since 1997. We are one of the few services online who values our users' privacy, and have never sold your information. We have even fought hard to defend your privacy in legal cases; however, we've done it with almost no financial support -- paying out of pocket to continue providing the service. Due to the issues imposed on us by advertisers, we also stopped hosting most ads on the forums many years ago. We hope you appreciate our efforts.

Show your support by donating any amount. (Note: We are still technically a for-profit company, so your contribution is not tax-deductible.) PayPal Acct: Feedback:

Donate to VoyForums (PayPal):

Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12345[6]78910 ]
Subject: Chapter 237 - Part 1

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]
Date Posted: Monday, April 17, 06:58:42am
In reply to: Katherine Gilbert 's message, "Dreams in the Dark (chapters 221--?)" on Monday, February 13, 07:24:07am

Dreams in the Dark (237/?)
by Katherine Gilbert

The party, such as it was, went quite well, continuing on until late in the evening. But eventually Premier's stars needed to retire, the next day long. In it, they would have to face several interviews before catching the *Twentieth Century Limited* once again, their trip on it and back through the gauntlet of reporters who would await them in Chicago just the first part of several long days on the rails. Still, there was something positive to remember, for once. For a short while, they had been among friends, had needed to edit and monitor little which was said. For as temporary as it had been, it had definitely been a blessing.

It was this truth which warmed the couple who seemed eternally doomed to face so much peril and pain, as they returned to their hotel suite at last. The day might have been lengthy--Elena's kindness only, unintentionally, making it more so--but there was much to be thankful for, as well. Nikita was feeling a bit better, and their popularity was slightly less tenuous. As much as they might fear all that yet lay ahead, it was encouraging. They seemed to be on the right track yet again tonight.

Or, at least, this was what they were thinking, as they returned to their room, the multiple reliefs of the evening calming them greatly. And their moods were only enhanced when they remembered their last trip to this city together, pondering all the huge and positive alterations they had made in that time. When they had last stayed in this hotel, they had still been under constant death threat, their marriage not even officially recognized--their lives and rooms still separated. Now, they were one; Nikita's eyes shone at her husband's, as she stood in his arms. And this lovely change was enough to make up for every other pain of their existence.

It was this sweet truth both of them were savoring--thoughts of then and now so encouraging--as they looked into one another, no words exchanged in the warm silence. Then, they had been on guard, hoping to never be caught in too intimate a moment, always afraid for appearances. Then, they had had to struggle through Michael's deepening depression, working past his fatalistic acceptance of death in the battle against Hillinger which was still to come. Then, they had been forced to face an angry Adam, the boy just discovering the secrets of his existence; their smiles deepened. But now, everything was better; his arms surrounded her tightly, pulling her close--his cheek against her bright hair. And that fact alone would get them through many a hard time to come.

It would have been difficult not to savor this moment, not to treasure how much better their lives were now. Five months ago, they had been in this very room, trying to explain to Adam why he shouldn't wish to tear them apart--trying to explain to Michael why he shouldn't despair. Less than two months ago, they had spent every day waiting in terror for the attack to come, knowing they might not survive. Yet, they had--had come through it all with not only a renewed sense of life but a new life growing within Nikita, as well; her smile went deep, as she remembered. That truth alone seemed only too sweetly symbolic to her now.

She cherished this fact, adoring all that they had managed to create. Even when she thought back to the terrible events of that one night, the one which had come so close to destroying them, she no longer felt afraid--some of the trauma, it seemed, finally wearing away; she held him closer, heartened by it, realizing for the first time. For the last few nights--perhaps because of the distraction of her nausea or that of the constant stress of travel and the press--she had had no nightmares, had not relived the gunman's death in her mind; she sighed happily, hoping the change was permanent. Maybe the pleasant lapse was only due to their break from the site of such trauma, but she wondered, hoping. Perhaps it was time for her to finally be reborn.

This possibility strengthened her, giving her even more happiness than did her simple place in her husband's arms. While she knew that it was probably just the constant wear of her illness which had made her forget, she was still grateful. Maybe the time had come when she could move on at last.

This thought was lovely, every moment perfect--both of them buoyed by the simple pleasure of being together, by the memory of all they had survived. Perhaps their future was not so dim as it seemed--some light appearing at last. They had certainly made it through far worse circumstances before.

It was the recognition of this truth which held them together, remaking them after all the fears of the day; their minds spun through the memories, as they reveled in each other's quiet tenderness. It was almost hard to believe that so much had gone wrong back then, was difficult to credit the idea that Michael had once wanted to die, rather than live with this woman he adored. And, even if that hadn't been his true wish, he had allowed himself to fall into such a state, had sunk into the depths of despair--convinced to his very soul of his utter unworthiness for her love; he smiled against her, kissing her hair. But now he had learned--her perfections daunting him little. No matter how much better she might deserve, he was entirely capable of giving her the endless sort of pleasure she had been born to receive.

This truth was wonderful, existing in him not only on a physical level--although her grateful, passionate response to his fervent lovemaking always did him good--but in the more intangible ways he could never fully put into words. Worthy of her he might not be, but he understood the world far better now. A man didn't need to die to protect his beloved--far from it. Instead, he was truly judged by how willing he was to rise to the level of the woman he adored.

He was more than willing to do this now, always would be, would no longer let his despair of never being her full equal frighten him. Perhaps there were mistakes in his past, terrible ones; perhaps he had never been quite deserving of the love he received. But he was stronger now, his fortitude born wholly in his love for her; his arms held this precious woman much closer. Now, all he had to do was remember that she was here--and he would live through any trauma which might come.

He felt this now, so deeply, felt no fear in the war which he would face--or the more minor battles which would precede it. He could live through mockery and censure, could be spit on and hold his head high. When he returned, Nikita would be waiting; his embrace spasmed only slightly, as the thoughts turned. And she would be holding their child to welcome him back.

He had to pull away for a second, had to give her his apologies--no matter how little say he had in the future they would face. Perhaps it was just seeing Adam and Elena again, remembering the many ways he had failed before, but he couldn't stop feeling guilty--the irony goading. For the first time, he had created a child out of love and intention, truly *wanted* to be with its mother for the rest of his days; even with Simone, it had been more accident and duty which had driven him on--a need not to see the woman he cared for hurt anymore. But now, he wanted with his entire soul to be here for every moment of this woman's pregnancy, wished to help her through every single step; his eyes were loving, sad. But life, yet again, would not allow such simple pleasures to be his.

This wasn't the first time he had been denied his wishes, his entire existence now seeming like one, long struggle. Still, when he opened his mouth to speak, his lover's fingers sealed his lips, her look adoring. "I know, Michael." Her nod was soft. "I know you'd be with me every moment, if you could." He had shown that minutely over the past few days, with his constant concerns for her well-being--but he couldn't see this himself. "Just tell me what you want me to call our child." Her smile widened adoringly. "Because, that way, I can start addressing him by name."

The request was a tender one, but it hid much sadder truths--ones he couldn't ignore. "I want to be with you, when she's born." His head shook slowly. "I don't want you to suffer for a second, without me there to help you through."

She knew this, always had--and adored him for the sentiment. Still, she only nodded, turning the conversation--both of them understanding that his service would probably take him far beyond the due date, an end to this war nowhere in sight. Her eyes took on a teasing light, refusing to let either of them mourn for long. "Not 'she,' Michael. It's a boy. I'm sure of it."

Lord. He understood what she was doing, knew she had just dismissed his wish--perhaps neither of them strong enough to focus on their fantasies for long; he moved with her desire, giving in--his hand upon her abdomen, even as his eyes lit with love. "I want a girl, 'Kita." His look was so very deep. "I want her to be just like you."

Mm. Her smile only deepened at their prosaic conversation--one she had probably heard in a hundred different movies; she went on, breaking away from the mold, teasing them both out of their fears. "You mean burping loudly in public every opportunity she gets?" His soft laugh warmed her--the sound hers alone. Still, she shook her head. "Sorry. You don't get to choose." Her hand covered his, encouraging his touch. "Now, tell me what to name your son."

God. He loved her for the look in her eyes alone, but he did let himself be led. "Just so long as it's not 'Michel,' I'll be content." Especially in America. He didn't need to give any boy a name which couldn't even be correctly pronounced.

She could see his pains, all the traumas he would soon face once again, hiding somewhere in the back of his eyes--but she didn't address any of them now, knowing they couldn't be helped with talk; one eyebrow raised, pushing him along. "If you don't give me a real answer, I'll name him Samuel." Her look deepened ironically. "Then, you'll have to be the one to answer him, when he demands revenge."

There was a laugh at this image, the idea of "Sammy Samuelle" too horrible to contemplate; he tried to do her question justice--although it wasn't easy to answer on the spot. And the very idea made him wonder, uncertain why he hadn't pondered the issue before; his sigh went deep. Perhaps it was just too hard to believe that he would really be allowed any gift so beautiful as this.

It was still difficult to credit such a thought, his life up to this point giving him little reason to. Still, a sudden idea did occur to him, one which had perhaps been lingering somewhere in the back of his mind. Even better, it could be used even if his own wish were proven about their child--a daughter given to him this time; his eyes were suddenly serious, if soft. "Adrian." It might not be the strongest male name--but it would get a child in far less trouble than "Michel." His smile deepened. And it would also give credit to the woman who was responsible for bringing the two of them together.

It took Nikita a moment to see this, her emotions about her grandmother still a bit conflicted, of late--but her look did clear, seeing his silent point. Whatever her hurt over the woman's involvement in this recent disaster, she *was* still grateful to her, for myriad reasons. For one, the actress had saved her from a life of poverty and degradation in Australia, little left for her there in the wake of her mother's death--little there for her before it, in reality. And the woman had also done her best to keep her grandchild out of the clutches of the studio, while still supporting the girl's foolish decision, once it was made; Nikita smiled. Better yet, her grandmother had done nothing to stand in the way of her growing romance and love affair with Michael, had only watched knowingly--allowing her to find her own way; her eyes teared a little, as she thought it through. In many ways, the woman had been there for her for many years, the smile growing. It was only fitting that they remember her at last.

This enormous decision was made in the silence of that moment, the loving gaze they shared communicating it all. There was no need for discussions or arguments, the name even relatively suitable--in a slightly altered form--if their child were a girl. Perhaps it would be a little odd for a female, certainly not a popular choice, but it could do. All that was left was a middle name--and that could be discussed, in the fullness of time.

There was a silent agreement on these truths, their look quite deep, as the decision firmed in them both--and one other fact fell into place. With this choice, all of Nikita's resentment and hurt toward their child's namesake started to fall away, beginning her on the path Michael already hoped for. Whatever the months ahead might bring, they were certain to be rocky and lonely; he smiled, loving her. But now, she would have someone there to trust--and that alone might well be the factor she needed to get her through.

This truth, and the look which conveyed it, had grown deeper over the last few minutes, the atmosphere between the pair shifting tenderly. It had been several days since the last time they made love, Nikita's illness negating any such desires. They leaned closer. Now, they were finally alone, the world not thundering along beneath their feet; their lips almost touched. And now they could finally act on all of their love once more.

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Subject Author Date
Chapter 237 - Part 2 (end of chapter 237)KatherineG.Monday, April 17, 07:01:06am

Post a message:
This forum requires an account to post.
[ Create Account ]
[ Login ]
[ Contact Forum Admin ]

Forum timezone: GMT-5
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.