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Subject: Chapter 240 - Part 2 (16 and above) (end of chapter 240)

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Date Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 07:00:13am
In reply to: Katherine Gilbert 's message, "Dreams in the Dark (chapters 221--?)" on Monday, February 13, 07:24:07am

They were caught in that loving, hungry, sorrowful look for many long moments, before he finally moved to the bed, sitting down on its edge, his back to her. He didn't trust himself to touch her now, wasn't even certain he could withstand her beauty; his gaze roamed the floor, as he finally approached the subject both of them dreaded--wondering, all the while, whether anything which could be conveyed in words would mean much in the face of their love and fear. Still, he tried. "Promise me something, Nikita." He took a deep breath, knowing she was listening. "Promise me that you'll do everything in your power to look after yourself and our child."

She had already done so, of course, had no desire to break her word; she tried to explain. "Michael, I . . ." But he let her get no further, his head shaking. There was clearly more which needed to be said.

In some ways, this was a conversation they had had before, but it was far more important now--the terrible approach of the day when he would be ripped from her giving everything more meaning. His gaze was on the spread, the look intense, concerned. "I can't promise what will happen to me, don't know what the future holds." He paused, sighing. "But I need to know this." He looked back to her, his gaze pinning her to the bed. "I need to know that, as much as it's possible, I don't have to worry about you. I need to know that you and our child will be alright." The look they shared was almost frighteningly intense, before his trailed away. "Without that . . ."

He didn't finish the thought, the terror of it lingering--but she understood far too well. If he thought she would give in, had to fear for her safety or sanity, he wouldn't be able to concentrate on his own. And, if he couldn't do that . . .

Her heart seemed to clench at the terror of this possibility, unable to think through it clearly; she answered in the only way it was possible for her to. "I swear that on one condition, Michael." His eyes returned to her, the need there so clear. "I swear it, if you do the same." Her head shook, warning him. "There's no way in Hell I'm going to look after myself, if you don't do your damnedest to stay alive."

Fortunately, he could tell her this, had been bracing himself for the inevitable; he smiled, leaning in, kissing her softly. "I promise," he whispered, and she smiled, nodding. That alone was enough--for now.

"Me, too."

This was all they really needed, the reconfirmation of all their earlier intentions enough to settle them slightly. But there was still more which needed to be discussed, more which Michael wanted her to know; his sigh slipped out, his gaze falling. Now, if only he knew where to begin.

He decided, in the end, to return to an earlier conversation--one they had had just before they had received that dreadful note. "There's something else. I have another suggestion for our child's name." He really didn't want her to feel that he would be making the decision alone--although that was the usual way, especially if the child were a son--but he did want her to understand his thoughts, eyes meeting hers. "My grandfather's name was Jacques." He shrugged slightly. "I don't think it'd be a bad middle name."

Mm. Despite his fears, all the ways she could have interpreted his suggestion, she did love him for this--had had to goad him before to try to get any sort of idea out of him; her smile widened, thinking it over under her breath. "Adrian Jacques Samuelle." It didn't necessarily run trippingly off the tongue--almost more a succession of unrelated names than one--but a child could certainly do far worse; it was better than an American girl in Australia being named "Nikita." Her eyes were loving. They could definitely make it work.

She was smiling, already mostly agreeing, as she thought the name--and all its possible ramifications--through. No, the initials didn't spell anything obscene or obnoxious; that was good. As a woman who had gone through life as "Nikita Anne Wirth"--or "NAW"--this was the sort of afterthought she had tried to remember she should have much earlier this time.

This she did but saw nothing wrong with the suggestion, smiling, as she leaned in to kiss him. "Agreed." Her smile continued, even as their lips met. Despite all their fears, she was happy just to be discussing this with him now.

The fact that they soon wouldn't be able to share such conversations certainly shook through them then, making both of them ache so deeply. But there were other topics to address here, Michael pulling back to meet her eyes. And, given the typical unpredictability of their lives, he couldn't trust that there would be another good time.

She understood, could see his intentions in his eyes. His body was turned toward hers now, his gaze so loving but serious--telling her that these loose ends they had avoided would finally be taken care of. "There's another thing," he went on--hating to discuss it but knowing it needed to be done. "About Adrian's godparents . . ."

"Oh," she murmured, torn in several ways by just this part of his words. First, it warmed her to hear him address their child by a name for the first time--made her love him even more. But the subject of godparents--in their case, at least--also brought up the possibility of death, their child needing substitutes, if they weren't around. Of course, the choice was generally more ceremonial and honorary than anything else, but . . .

He saw that she was with him, knew her concerns; he moved on. "I was thinking about Helmut and Kate." There was a slight shrug, as her head cocked. "Officially, anyway." The fact that this would mean--if the situation were unfortunate enough to come up--Helmut, Rene, Kate, and Terry taking over some sort of joint parenting of their child didn't have to be said.

It made sense, however. Of all their friends, the two couples were their most trustworthy, established, and healthy. Even if--he suspected--they might be none-too-pleased to have to raise a child, the contingency not one they typically had to ponder, they would undoubtedly agree out of kindness alone, if the situation arose.

She knew this, was nodding, before moving to put her arms around him, needing him close--the very thought of their child needing such a plan in place scaring her. Still, her husband held her close, showing no signs of fear--and she wondered whether he were really as confident as he seemed.

He didn't answer this silent question, kissing her cheek, before bracing himself to move on. There was only one more thing he needed her to know. And it was far more important than the rest.

His embrace was warm, loving, as he started to let her know--fearful of what might happen, otherwise. "Just one more promise, 'Kita." There was a sigh, as she nodded against him instantly--his soul comforted by her absolute trust. "I want to be with you every day of your pregnancy, want to see every change in your body, want to comfort you through any annoyance or distress." She held him tighter, so adoring, but still he pulled away--needing her eyes, his own look intent. "Promise that you'll only share the details of it with me."

This wasn't a request she had expected, clearly surprised her a bit; his head shook quickly, dismissing any possible misinterpretations. "If you need something, be certain you get it; tell our friends what you have to." His gaze was so tortured. "But not the rest. Write me letters as long as you need to, fill them with so much minutia you're certain I won't be interested. I need that." His hand rested on her abdomen--eyes begging. "I want to be the only one who gets to know it all."

Oh. She bit her lip, trying not to cry, her love overflowing her completely. And, in that moment, she felt it--an almost spiritual connection between herself, her husband, and her growing child; there was no real way to express it, leaning in toward him--her look adoring, hand on his face. "I promise, Michael." She kissed him softly, loving him so much it nearly hurt, before her gaze found his again. "I promise you everything."

Lord. His eyes closed for a moment, soul filling with this truth--and he realized that this had always been what he needed: every part of her, body and soul. His look returned to her--adoring, devouring--his hand on her cheek. "And you have every part of me, 'Kita." His head shook, as he leaned closer. "There's nothing on earth that will ever change that again."

It was these promises they needed, these which made them whole--allowing both of them to remember one, clear truth. No matter what might happen, no matter anything fate might hold in store, they would never be torn apart. So long as any part of their souls still existed in the world, they were one; the kiss began. No enemy of any kind could ever change that again.

[End of Part 240]

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chapter 240skWednesday, April 26, 01:21:27pm

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