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Subject: Chapter 238 - Part 2 (16 and above) (end of chapter 238)

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Date Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 07:00:22am
In reply to: Katherine Gilbert 's message, "Dreams in the Dark (chapters 221--?)" on Monday, February 13, 07:24:07am

Her insights would do nothing good for him, the fury only rising with them. Still, they went on. "I know you don't want to hear this, Adam, but this isn't about Michael." There was a pause, as she seemed to reconsider. "But I'm not certain you want to know what you're really thinking."

This was probably true, but--as the truth often would, with anyone--it only made him angrier. Still, he asked. "What do you mean?" It wasn't like his emotions were going to just go away, if they were ignored.

This was true, Elena giving in, explaining his own emotions to him--wherever such knowledge might lead; she didn't even think about how roundabout her approach was, afraid of enraging him too much. "I know you're angry with Michael, and you have a right to be--with both of us, and with Chuck. We kept a lot of things from you." His look returned to her, meeting her sigh. "Still, what you're really angry about is the fact that you've been spurned." She tried to smile, even knowing it couldn't help him. "And the woman you're in love with doesn't even know that she did it."

This, of course, was *exactly* his situation--and it did him no immediate good to hear it, his head turning away, rage returning in full; his fists clenched in his lap, as she went on. "I understand. You fell in love with her, before you even met her--as an image on a screen, her beauty calling you, her intelligence shining through those idiotic roles she plays." He felt his jaw clench, even as the truth of it nearly made the tears rise, her dreadful insights continuing. "When you saw her in the flesh, thinking that she was your own age, as innocent as she seemed in all those images in the magazines, there's that moment of belief, that moment when you think: 'She could be mine. She could love me.'" Her sigh lingered. "But it's just a dream, an illusion in the dark." And it was always those which were the very hardest to fight.

She could see the rage and sorrow mixing in him, warring for control; her heart ached with the sight, her words moving in. "What makes you angriest isn't that Michael loves her or is the father of her child. It's that she came into your fantasies, fit them in every way it's so easy for someone who's only a vision to." Her hand covered his, clenched though it was. "But anyone in the flesh is far more complicated than a simple dream."

Lord. He knew this, really, always had; his head dropped, fingers opening slightly. But to see Kitty in reality, to have her so near--and then to have every vision of his life blown away by the truth of Michael's part in his existence . . . well, it hadn't made it easy to think clearly. His sigh went on, heart aching, as another question rose. "Do you think he really loves her?" It still didn't make sense to him how any man who did would leave her, for even the most overwhelming of excuses.

She saw this, couldn't explain it all--only knowing a few of the details herself. Mostly, she knew that it was safer for both of them to be left in the dark. Still, she could answer his fear from just seeing the pair together, knowing Michael as she did--all of it telling her so much. "I think he loves her more than he knew was possible." Adam's eyes met hers. "I think he's dying at the thought of leaving her, for even a moment." The questions in his gaze were far too evident, making her heart ache for him. But there were simply some answers even a mother didn't have.

He saw this, let his head drop again, this time holding her hand--taking the comfort she had always given him. Maybe that alone was enough. For now, there was nothing he could do, no way he could fight; he had known it all along, felt it as the center of his pain and rage. Still, there were questions. Perhaps he couldn't be with the woman, but he would never stop caring for her. Even if his were just fantasies, that would be far too much to ask.

It took him a second to form any of his feelings into words, but he finally let his mother see one of his most prominent fears. "You don't think he forced her to marry him, do you?" It was that, more than any other worry, which made him angry over the man's total romantic victory over himself.

She understood, knew him well enough not to question further--but it was difficult to answer without a smile. "Michael's not the great seducer you see him as." His suspicious look returned to her, making the smile deepen. "Oh, he's had plenty of women, but he's not a pursuer. He just lets things happen."

This truth should have calmed the boy, but its insinuation only added to his rage. "Are you suggesting that Kitty pursued him?!" His eyebrows rose, as a new thought arrived. Was his mother saying that *she* had, as well? He turned away, feeling a little ill--letting go of her hand. As fiercely as he wanted to protect his mother, as violent as he would have felt if Michael had done anything to hurt her, he somehow really didn't want to imagine that as the start of his life.

Lord. She could see his emotions but found it difficult not to laugh, his naiveté endearing. He was still only 17, *should* be innocent; she leaned in, kissing him on the side of the head, watching him bristle only mildly at her coddling. Besides, he was growing up quickly enough, one truth certain; her heart had to sigh. He wouldn't be the innocent for that much longer.

She tried to repress the pain of this idea--a mother's emotions doomed to be conflicted. While she wanted her child to grow up normally and healthily, it was difficult not to also want to keep her baby in her arms. With boys, especially, the day would come when they simply wouldn't need you anymore; her heart ached at the thought. And, as much as she wanted to see him strong enough for this day to come, she had absolutely no desire to rush toward it.

It took her a second to answer, then, but she finally found her voice--her thoughts of her son so tender. "It's not quite so simple as that." Still, there was a smile--her touch turning his head back toward her--suddenly remembering his conception. "There are just times when men and women move toward each other." The smile deepened. "Neither has to pursue."

Oh. He blushed, far more deeply than was comfortable for a 17-year-old young man, looking away, as he tried not to think about it. There were just some sorts of thoughts that you didn't wish to have in your mother's presence.

She left him like this for a moment, managing to swallow back her laugh--loving him so much, happy for the change she saw in him. In just the last few minutes of their discussion, he had calmed, accepting Michael--and that man's place in his life--far more sanely than before. Still, she couldn't leave him with just that truth, knew what he really feared--loved him for the gentleness which allowed the concern to even be conscious in him, most boys spitting on such thoughts; her hand stroked tenderly over his hair. "Someday, Adam, you'll find the right woman." His gaze returned to her, subtly hopeful. "And then you'll truly understand how no one can be in control."

This statement could have come across as a "wait till you're older" speech, but he saw her kind intent, loved her too much to be angry--that feeling passing away further by the second. Perhaps he would never be friends with the man who had aided his conception, the one who had run out on them so completely; perhaps he would never quite get over his desire for a woman he didn't really know. But, looking into his mother's eyes, he did finally understand one, essential truth: Kitty would know love. And, whatever his lingering desires, the fact that he would not be the one to give it to her was far less important now.

[End of Part 238]

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chapter 238skFriday, April 21, 05:31:12pm

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