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Kruger
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:55 am    Post subject: Confrontations Reply with quote

The lights were on in the house, Kruger could see them from the road. He could see the children playing and the familiarity of it almost made him smile. His attention diverted though for the man who approached from just within the gate. Antonio was a large man, not so large as his brother Marcus, but of a nature that made him more dangerous. Kruger knew from his expression what his leaving had meant, and what his arrival would mean as well. He didn’t shy away from the blow as it came, accepting it as he knew he should despite his instinct to roll to the side and unload on the taller man. He made no sound as the fist connected to his cheek and the smack of knuckle to cheek sounded across the yard.

Kruger dropped his burden from his shoulder, it wasn’t a result of the punch merely an attempt to preserve his balance. Wheat colored eyes looked back up at Antonio who was already coming in for a second strike. He wouldn’t flinch though, or give way or even go down. The second shot took him in the eye and he could feel the swelling even before the hand had come away. He staggered back from the blow, but never lost his feet. Instead he stood and simply quietly waited, perhaps this was his goodnight, his ending to the feelings that had been eluding him for so long now. Once he would have grown angry, defended himself and reminded Antonio why he was so dangerous.

The third punch was stopped by a huge hand, Marcus had wrapped around his brother’s bicep. Kruger hadn’t noticed the giant, he was so focused on Antonio’s rage. It was clear that Marcus’ grip was hurting his brother. Kruger knew Marcus would flay himself for it later, hating to use his strength in ways that hurt others. “There is no honor in killing a man who chooses not to fight Antonio.” Marcus deep voice was surprisingly soft to any who had never met him.

Antonio’s blazing glare turned on his brother then. “He deserves no honor…taking his life would be the honor.” Antonio’s voice carried and the children stopped their play. The two boys crowded the ironwork fence line peering out even as the girl ran to the house. Marcus however positioned himself between Antonio and Kruger looking down on his brother.

He still spoke with that quiet reserve that would make you believe him a coward though Kruger knew differently. “He would share that honor with you. Your wife would lose a husband and your unborn would lose a father. Better to let him live with his dishonor…live to suffer with his decisions.” Antonio struggled in Marcus’ grip obviously unable to pull away until Marcus would allow.

He must have loosened his fingers because Antonio snatched his arm away and started up the road cursing loudly in Italian the entire way. Kruger didn’t move, still standing silently as Marcus turned to face him. There had been only one time that the smith had seen that expression on the face of the giant. Still he lifted his eyes to the man to let him say his piece. He had no illusions that Marcus couldn’t crush him if he got a hold of him. Marcus of course would hate himself but Kruger with his last breath would still forgive. “I should let him hurt you…there has been a lot of hurt here since…I should hurt you myself but I don’t want to get the taint on my hands.”

Kruger wished he would, facing Marcus would be easier than what he was walking into. He didn’t know where Gio was, and he wasn’t asking. The fact was he was having problems remembering how to speak at the moment. He stepped forward bending to take up the backpack he had dropped. He stepped around Marcus since the man didn’t seem inclined to finish the job. He tasted blood at the corner of his mouth from Antonio’s first strike but it wasn’t something he cared to think about. Behind him he heard Marcus boots on the road. “You have much to answer for, I hope you find your tongue soon…and know if she asks, I will make sure you never make it back to the city.”

Kruger knew it was true even as he started up the drive to the house. They had been as loyal to him once. The spike of that was dulled with the knowing that Abri Nan Si lal and its inhabitants were protected. The open door had a familiar figure and one that would be more brutal than Antonio’s fists or Marcus’ words. Rochelle was watching his approach.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While there was seething anger and confusion, there was also the fact that this was Kruger's home. Regardless of his denial of such, it simply....was. Abri Nan Si lal and all of those that called it home, honored him, were in fact loyal to him and loved him. He was the Master of Belglade. Rightfully so. There was history, so much history between them all. Through the good. Through the bad. They were Family.

Rochelle's breath was caught in her throat, she had seen the blows delivered upon the Blacksmith and it reached into her, far beyond the common understanding. Many a time she had whispered, "Enough..." in an effort for it to cease. It wasn't necessary, he was here. He had returned and for now, that is what had to be the focus.

Certainly there was a want and desire to interfere, to verbally rip him to shreds, but the bottom of it was quite simple....this was between a husband and a wife. The rest, would be dealt with later.

So it was with that, Rochelle stepped forward to regard Kruger a bit closer and a hand slid down his arm with a light squeeze, before pressing the dishcloth she had been holding, to the edge of his lip. The woman thought of Kruger as her son, she always had. She would not give way to overwhelming him with an assault that would sting far more than any fist could deliver and silently chastised those who felt the need to inflict even more pain.

"Come..." Rochelle walked inside, leaving the door open. It was up to him if he chose to follow.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Papa....papa! Unc has come home!" Sophie was panting for breath. She had run as fast as her little legs would allow, through the meadow.

Gio was working on the fencing at the northern part of the property. These day's, he kept to himself pretty much. The turmoil was a bit too much for him. Especially when dealing with Antonio, Marcus and the other's.

"Antonio, hit him, Papa..." The little girl's eyes were filled with tears. "Please come..." Grappling at his hand and tugging, Sophie was positively distraught. She was not one that could appreciate conflict in any fashion.

"Shh...shh...hush now.." The digger tossed to the ground, Gio reached down and scooped up the girl, at which point she threw her arms around his neck and sobbed as only Sophie could. Dear Saint's, she was such an emotional child. Her heart always so well placed. It was torture to know she was broken over this entire matter.

"Where is he now, Sophie?" Gio inquired against the shell of her ear.

Through her hiccup's, Sophie stammered. "H...he....went into....the....the....main house with...with Miss Rochelle...."

Gio nodded and gave her a tight squeeze. "Shhh, it's alright, you will see, it's alright.."

But was it? Gio should have gone to his friend, when all of this had started. But he did not. He had himself to blame for that. He knew Kruger not to be a selfish man. There had to have been cause for such a rash decision. It was anger that had kept Gio from going to the one he declared Brother so many year's ago and even on this day, he still referred to him as such..

"I'm going to take you to your momma, Sophie and then I am going up to the house. I want you to stay with her until I come back, do you understand?"

"Nooooo, papa....I won't..!" Sophie was like a locomotive in his arm's, it was all he could do not to drop her.

"Stop this, you are only making things bigger. Now you will do what I say, no if's, and's or but's..." He was stern with his youngest child. A sterness in which Sophie knew not to challenge.

Gio did as he said, depositing Sophie off at their cottage and made his way towards the main house where he would busy himself outside and remain much out of the way.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Cross-posted here)

It was near impossible to not hear the commotion going on at the front of the house. Nikolai was asleep and Shai had been sitting at the desk going through correspondence, while trying to gain the courage to put quill to parchment herself in several matters. It would keep.

Rising, a peek was given the fist sucking child not far away and Shai stepped from the Suite to see what was going on. Snicking the door closed behind her, it took but a moment to spy what was perhaps the reason for the ruckus just moments earlier. Unnoticed for the moment, Shai's breath hitched in her chest and a self conscious palm smoothed at the bodice adorned. She would not call out, she would wait.

It was all Kruger could do not to flinch away from Rochelle's kindness. He managed to keep it to a flinch at her hand on his arm. That had been the way of him lately to push away the people who would do him any kindnesses. "I'm fine, it’s just a little blood for pity's sake. I will see worse before this is done I think." He licked his lips and moved further in, somehow it would have been easier to deal with being here if everyone acted as Antonio. "I assume Shai is upstairs resting?" He turned to look at Rochelle for a moment before continuing. "I would like to ask permission to go to the second floor." He took a breath as the words finished moving from his lips.

Before this is done. Rochelle heard it. Shai heard it. To say it stung, offered the feeling no justice. Perhaps he would see the anger he was so well at assuming. Rochelle lifted her hand and glanced for the stairs. At that point, he saw Shai, stared for lingering moment and finally excused herself to vanish into the parlor. With a roll and a pull of her shoulders, Shai spoke up. "You may come upstairs', however, leave your boot's near the door please."

Shai simply turned and went back into their room's, leaving the door wide open for him. The child was still sleeping, rather contently in fact. The only change within the suite was the small bassinet nestled into the corner with mosquito netting draped around it. Closing the distance to the windows, they were closed and she found a perch on the edge of a chair.

He would comply with the demand, likely it was for reasons of silence as much as anything else. He took it as admitting that he no longer held sway over the house. He knelt to undo laces and remove those beat up boots he wore everywhere. The bag however stayed on his shoulder. It went up the stairs with him though he set it gently outside the room. Its weight had his arm cording with the effort to drop it quietly. A few metallic clinks sounded as he let go. Straightening he moved through the doorway and stood before Shai as though she were the almighty and this the judgment day. "How are you feeling?" It was all he could manage to get out.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did he expect her to blurt out how she was truly feeling? They would be there for the next 2 days, if that was the case. Did he want her to lie? To tell him she was feeling splendid. Absolutely splendid. Perhaps dark eyes told the tale when she looked at him, it was a simple instant that they filled and she glanced away to the bassinet. "I'm sure....you've come to see your son, mon amour. He is right there, sleeping and very healthy. He is an eager one when it comes to his feeding's."

He had hoped for more, for rage, anger. He had hoped for there to be hate for him in this place because that would confirm his beliefs about himself. He swallowed, biting back any other questions. Instead he moved to the bassinet, letting the breath go slowly that he had taken without ever realizing he was holding it. "He's strong? Healthy?" He let his eyes rest on Nikolai wanting to brush at the new skin, but knowing that the calluses in his hand would wake the child.

"Very. When he cries, it's with a vengeance and is already trying too hard to hold his head up." Shai, couldn't help but smile. "He reminds me of when you would be working outside, he's so intense." Glancing up to Kruger and then to her lap, the forever confidant one was so much at a loss, she knew not what to say, once again so without words in fear of making her husband dash away again.

But, there was one thing that was prominent...that was Nikolai. "Pick him up and hold him close, he needs your closeness...your scent." Her words whispered, it was her own breath that was now held, unsure if he would touch him...if he would allow himself to be that close.

He could feel himself being watched, he wasn't afraid reach for the child. He slid an arm beneath Nikolai, letting the palm of his right hand cradle the baby's head as he raised it into the crook of his left arm. "I have hammers heavier than he is." The little face struggled and stretched a bit before settling into his new position. "You have questions...ask, I will answer as I can."

Rising, Shai moved to the door and closed it. Question's, there were many, however, it was more of a statement that rolled from her tongue. "I simply wish I could understand how one moment you are looking toward the future of our family and then suddenly, you appear and state you will not be back. We took our vow's less than one year ago, mon amour. Less than one year. Our vows, our commitment to one another, it was all pretend on your part. In the time that we have been together, we have endured and risen above, right down to us traveling to the one place that caused you so much pain and reconciling bits and pieces. But you simply say, you cannot do this, you will not be back, I as your wife, deserve more that from you."
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did he expect her to blurt out how she was truly feeling? They would be there for the next 2 days, if that was the case. Did he want her to lie? To tell him she was feeling splendid. Absolutely splendid. Perhaps dark eyes told the tale when she looked at him, it was a simple instant that they filled and she glanced away to the bassinet. "I'm sure....you've come to see your son, mon amour. He is right there, sleeping and very healthy. He is an eager one when it comes to his feeding's."

He had hoped for more, for rage, anger. He had hoped for there to be hate for him in this place because that would confirm his beliefs about himself. He swallowed, biting back any other questions. Instead he moved to the bassinet, letting the breath go slowly that he had taken without ever realizing he was holding it. "He's strong? Healthy?" He let his eyes rest on Nikolai wanting to brush at the new skin, but knowing that the calluses in his hand would wake the child.

"Very. When he cries, it's with a vengeance and is already trying too hard to hold his head up." Shai, couldn't help but smile. "He reminds me of when you would be working outside, he's so intense." Glancing up to Kruger and then to her lap, the forever confidant one was so much at a loss, she knew not what to say, once again so without words in fear of making her husband dash away again.

But, there was one thing that was prominent...that was Nikolai. "Pick him up and hold him close, he needs your closeness...your scent." Her words whispered, it was her own breath that was now held, unsure if he would touch him...if he would allow himself to be that close.

He could feel himself being watched, he wasn't afraid reach for the child. He slid an arm beneath Nikolai, letting the palm of his right hand cradle the baby's head as he raised it into the crook of his left arm. "I have hammers heavier than he is." The little face struggled and stretched a bit before settling into his new position. "You have questions...ask, I will answer as I can."

Rising, Shai moved to the door and closed it. Question's, there were many, however, it was more of a statement that rolled from her tongue. "I simply wish I could understand how one moment you are looking toward the future of our family and then suddenly, you appear and state you will not be back. We took our vow's less than one year ago, mon amour. Less than one year. Our vows, our commitment to one another, it was all pretend on your part. In the time that we have been together, we have endured and risen above, right down to us traveling to the one place that caused you so much pain and reconciling bits and pieces. But you simply say, you cannot do this, you will not be back, I as your wife, deserve more that from you."
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, the pretending, the charade, he said. By his account of it, she was the most ignorant person that had ever breathed. The line of her jaw tightened and she held his gaze. That same gaze that she had swam within and had no desire for it to be otherwise. Inside, she was shattering over and over, he declared it a facade.

"You can stand there and say what you will. I know better. I know who you are and I know what you are capable of. So you run, you escape because of your self declared unworthiness. You be the martyr that you have convinced yourself that you are. But when you decide to stop shattering the mirrors you are obsessed with looking into, you have a wife, a son, a family, a life that is lost without you. And in that same breath, do not forget to declare that you never loved me. This is what you want, I will not beg for otherwise, because in that, it would be false. If you no longer wish to be tied to me, you will make that happen, you will file for divorce. It will not be me, because what I committed to you is fierce and unbending, no matter what you think you deserve or not deserve. And this...."

Shai waved a trembling hand. "This home, Belglade....it will always be your home. All of them outside, they will always be your family. And Nikolai, he will always be your blood, your sweat and your tear's."

He held onto her face, his brows coming down over his eyes slightly. "Nikolai will always be my blood. This place, and the dream that it is will be carried by him...in time. Perhaps I am looking into mirrors I am obsessed with, breaking them because I can't stand what looks back at me out of them. I never will claim that this was any part of your wishes, or desires. Only that I had it good here, with you. I see the looks of those who know in the city. Believe that I expect more, that I accept responsibility for it all on my own shoulders. I know what you are saying Shai, I will think on how I move forward before anything becomes permanent." It was all he could promise her, the last of him that was unsure reaching out weakly.

Shai reached up and smoothed an errant tendril as she opened the bedroom door. She was shaking from the inside out and it was all she could do to maintain the propriety and grace, that was deemed necessary by her. "Feel free to spend as much time with Nikolai as you wish." Before he could respond, she closed it behind her and a slippered foot carried her downstairs and out the front door. There would not be another incident as the one with Antonio earlier, Shai would not stand for it. Kruger could see his child and venture to Belglade when he felt the need. If he ever did. Gio watched as she rushed by him towards the cliffs, but the sobs consuming her sprang to life over the breeze.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:26 am    Post subject: After A Visit With Nikolai Reply with quote

After A Visit With Nikolai

Shai sat there on the edge of the bed for what felt like hour's. Nikolai was all fed and sleeping peacefully within her arm's. A lean down and she nuzzled him closely, catching the scent of his father still on him.

Her mind going a thousand miles an hour, she could not get her thought's together. She was so torn, she really didn't know which way to go. In anything.

She didn't know how to react to being left. It had never happened before, as she had never committed to anyone either. It had always been, business.

While one part of her wanted to curl up and die, the other part of her wanted to chase after him and demand further explanation. Demand the answers she was not so well given. Demand for him to tell her the one thing he seemed to have refused to answer.

The conversation with Tiro, didn't help matter's much.

No, you do not abandon the ones that you love. But, you also should not feel perpetually misunderstood and misguided. She didn't feel hate, she felt betrayed and abandoned...absolutely. But she did not feel hate. That was such a strong word. For you see, she loved the Blacksmith, the same way she did the day he left. That just doesn't go away. Maybe for some it did. But she was not -some-.

Not long later, after putting Nikolai to bed, Shai found herself dressing and moving down the hall to wake Rochelle. The woman didn't approve of her leaving at that type of hour, but Shai had something to take care of.

Garbed in heavy fabric's, Shai hitched up the horse to the carriage herself and set off into the city.

Grateful there had not been any incident on the road, the cold was biting straight through her and by the time she climbed down from the seat, she was near freezing.

Shai was not even sure he was there, at the Forge. But she had to take the chance. Pulling the door closed behind her as it was unlocked, a chill ran through her and she called out as she stood near one of the smoldering pots for warmth. "Kruger....are you here....Kruger?"
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The flicker of the light told that it was produced by the forge fires only. He hadn’t begun, not yet though he had been close. The iron never made the fire the bellows chain hung lifeless. A pair of wheat colored eyes fell on the familiar form of Shai. Kruger’s eyes closed even as his hand went to the top of the anvil. He stood that way, using the cool metal as a focus. He knew this was coming even as he knew that he couldn’t predict how it ended.

The times he breathed, then a fourth before speaking up. “You shouldn’t be out at this hour…” Kruger let the statement fall away, he had given up the rights to those kinds of sentiments. “Is it Niko…or have you finally come to call me to task?” With one hand he reached behind him, the apron fell limp as the tie was loosened. With his free hand he pulled it from his neck and hung it up in its place. The hand that placed it staying put on the column that rose from floor to ceiling. He gripped it tightly though he couldn’t say why.

Kruger’s mind was racing over every question she might ask, every answer he could possibly give. He had run this moment through his mind a thousand times already. He had taken it to every outcome he could think of, so why was he so frightened of the next words out of her mouth? What would he do to stop her from talking? Could he? His head shook back and forth in tiny movements as he worked to steel himself. Physical pain was preferable to being here now. “My head tells me to keep talking, to just drown you out and never listen to what you have to say. It tells me that if I can do that you will grow frustrated and give up. I rarely listen to my own mind…ask what you will.”

His fingers closed in over his palm, the only evidence of the tightness of the fist he was making visible in the flex of muscle across his forearm. His hand had stopped shaking though even as he felt the floor was dropping from beneath him and he was stuck in freefall. “I can’t promise you the answers you hope for Shai.”
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sliding up to sit on the edge of his work table, as she had done so many times before, Shai listened to him and settled trembling hands into her lap. It was true, she had a million questions, but none of them came to mind in this moment. She could only stare at Kruger. He seemed so scattered. Perhaps, he was. Much like herself, but in a different fashion.

"The Ara...it is staggeringly beautiful...it suit's his nursery perfectly.. it suits you, it suits him." Quietly spoken, Shai tore her gaze from him and allowed it to dance across the walls of the Forge, always enamored by what was created here and what was perhaps a dream of creation.

"Do you remember the evening at the house, we laid on that blanket and talked until nearly dawn? We talked about the Ara and what it meant, what it represented. Also, when we were in Greece. I so very much long for that time again. It seems like it was so long ago, when it really is not." It was quite recent, in fact.

Finding her feet, the distance towards him was closed painstakingly slowly. "Is that what your heart tells you, it hope's that I will grow frustrated and give up?"

Kruger resisted the urge to step back, though he was sure distance was his friend in this. It would keep him centered and grounded. He stayed though the words were echoing through the specially designed ceiling. "My heart? I don't know if I have one of those left Shai." He watched her advance and shook his head at her. "You shouldn't have come, there is only pain for you here. You call it rightly I do need to be the martyr."

"I shouldn't have come or you hoped I would not come, Kruger..." It wasn't asked as a question, more of a rhetorical type of thing. Shai's footfalls ceased and she stood before him not more than 2 feet away. "You are so voiceful when it is telling me what I should or should not be doing." Then a brow rose. "No heart? What is this that you speak, Kruger....one moment you are positively gushing love and devotion, commitment and mutual dreams....the next you claim to have no heart. What exactly happened for you to declare this....to declare all of it....what happened, or is that also not to be my concern even though it is more than anyone?"

No he needed to be further from her to keep his space and his ability to think. "I've never told you what to do Shai, or forced my will on you. Love and devotion, just say hopes that don't belong to me. I don't think I ever said I do not love you, only that I can't be with you." He did move back a step from her. "My concern is your safety tonight. You keep asking what happened to me, and the only thing I can tell you is nothing has happened. I...the only change is that I realize that I don't belong there. You're sure you want to do this now...tonight?"
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shai was entirely struck by the fact that her husband hadn't even said hello, he instantly had gone into a defensive mode and for the life of her, she could not understand why. When he took a step back, she remained exactly where she was. "I made the trip into town to tell you one thing and one thing only, that I love you."

He gave her a small smile. That had never been in question to him. "I don't doubt your love. This doesn't make sense, I can't make it either." He might be able to make her understand eventually, when he could understand himself. He turned to look into the forge fires for a moment. "Have you ever seen fires grow so hot that you can barely look at them? Seen it and know that you can't go there? All around me I see these fires the hottest sitting on the grounds at Belglade, behind the gates at Abri nan syel la."

His voice dropped to a whisper when he got to the haven in the clouds. "The love you feel burns, everything burns now." The smile had faded as the words came, just a slight upturn to one corner of his mouth now even as his eyes reflected the fires. "I am the one taking things away, forging something that requires everything from me...everything Shai and I can't take it where it doesn't belong. I can't turn from it either."

"Oui...I have and I still do, I not only feel the burn but I face those flames every single day. I do not fight them, but I welcome them, for without those fires, I am not alive. I breathe not." Essentially, he had just admitted that everyone and everything about Belglade was to be avoided. Regardless of the way he had spun it.

Shai could only nod for the final response. He had always made her feel as if she was some supernova inside, her organs made of constellations, her lungs full of stars. Even when she breathed her softest of mythology, it was their universe. Wrapping her arms about herself, Shai looked down and away, finally behind her to the door. Never had she felt so unwelcome, so unwanted, so...unwanted, but it was finally beginning to become a constant reality. She was going to ask him to please come home, to please allow her to walk through this with him. He would have refused her in an instant. She knew this. "I will leave you to you work, Kruger."

"This is nothing Shai, this work, just small things an attempt to clear my head. I fell asleep, I fell so easily into old habits." He looked back up at her, not really knowing what he was asking for. "You needn't leave yet. We began here, did we not? That wasn't a simple few seconds. It's right that this take as long...longer perhaps."

"I will stay, for as long as you wish it to be..." Quietly spoken, her reassurance there. "No, it wasn't a simple few seconds, as I recall..." A fraction of a smile there, she opted for his stool at that point and settled down onto it. "As I also recall, it was snowing....much like it is now..."
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kruger watched her sit, all of it seemed familiar to him. Everything was very close to what it was then. "It was snowing, and cold and you stayed far longer than was probably proper for someone who was a client and a woman alone." He couldn't remember what he had made that night, something unimportant he was sure. Certainly not one of the custom weapons he crafted.

"I am a fool Shai, one who moves ahead and can't seem to stop himself. You mentioned the Ara. My promise Shai...for whatever my word is worth anymore really. Niko will have a place with me if he chooses."

As the two remained in each other's company, the periodic times of silence, absolute silence, were embraced and Shai found herself breathing easier. The grip upon her emotion's and thought's, was lessened a bit and she could actually wrap her mind around specific thing's Kruger was saying, without feeling as if the life was being ripped from her core.

"The love you feel burns, everything burns now." Everything burns now. To peel all of those layers back and see the rawness first hand, was staggering at best tragic at its worst.

The only thing that could happen would be to move forward with what they had been given and what had been taken away. Regardless, of whose hand had done the taking.

"Regardless of anything, Niko will grow to be a fine man. He has a solid foundation in all that he will call his life...and I truly believe as you being his father, that he will be honorable to a fault."

That may have sounded strange coming from her at this time, this moment. But, Shai was not living in some lime light of disbelief, she knew what she had been dealt (what they all had been dealt) and what she was coming to terms with and if anyone said differently, they would be handled accordingly.

"Everything seems out of control and I have no will to stop it. Perhaps, I simply need to come to terms with the fact that I cannot stop it, or that it shouldn't be stopped. Arguing with fate can turn bloody, I suppose."

"I'm not sure anymore Shai, fate is not something I have ever considered to belong to me." He did something then he hadn't expected to do and stepped closer. "It didn't mean nothing, what we had, what we still have. I'm not sorry for any part of us, except that which became broken. I know that the breaking is my doing, I live with that every time I look at myself."

He shook his head and scoffed just once before fixing her with amber eyes again. "Intentions mean nothing, what was wished what I would have spared you. All good intentions, and all just words and regrets that I will have forced on you, and all with you."
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The flames in the forge caused the light to shimmer, and cast erratic shadows on the walls. "Belglade is still a good idea, it can still be realized. I'm glad you haven't closed the door on me completely, such is your right. I enjoy the time with Niko, though I don't think he understands a word I say." He gave the ghost of a smile to her wondering how they would make it work, but knowing it would be a step at a time.

"We all have our fate, Kruger. Each and every one of us. Good, bad or indifferent, we are each given that burden or elation." As he came closer, Shai regarded him gently, much like she always had.

"There are some days when I think you wish I would have closed the door. Perhaps, most would. I can't. You have gotten lost in my opinion. I feel as if you struggle with every breath you take, every step you set down. I see it as most would not as it creeps from your pores and threatens to drown you. It also kills me to know that there is absolutely nothing I can do, to relieve you or save you from yourself. No amount of convincing or trying to convince you that you are deserving, you are worthy, you are a wonderful man, will change that because you have to know firsthand for yourself and not the words of anyone else." While she spoke, there was a steady stream of tears that coursed down her face, to stretch from the line of her jaw.

"Niko will understand one day, the point is, that you talk to him the way that you do. I hear you at times, I listen so carefully and I cannot help but smile. And at the same time, I hope it gives you comfort to know that your son does hang onto your every word, even at his tender age." A fingertip was rounding her wedding ring, that unending circle of eternity. "The door will not close, I won't allow it."

He could perhaps shut down his own tears, pretend that the burn he felt was smoke from the fires. Hers were another matter though. "I don't ask for anything fair I have such gall to expect others to live with this. Yes part of me wants you to close the door, to let anger rule you and punish me as I might another who acted the same. I don't pretend that I even understand what is happening. Lost, I feel lost and then I start walking and realize that I am as lost now as ever. Do you remember how it was when we started? How I was; still lost though I had time to enjoy life in between. I wonder if that is what makes returning so difficult? I also realize that I can't really ever be the same now. There is someone whom I never looked for waiting for me. I don't believe you looked either. Maybe that was our point then Shai..." His voice trailed away even as he took another step closer.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Mon amour...." She felt that she could never stop calling him that, nor did she have the desire to not do so. Even in this. "I was not looking for you, but somehow I found you. And I truly believe, that you found me as well. We all change, we all go through our turmoil's and times of misunderstanding. A lot of the time, we can't bring ourselves to face what is before us."

"I won't say that it's easy, it's actually deathly difficult. But to know that there is a pure love there at the end of each and every black tunnel, has to be the faith in you, even when you have none to speak of or to feel. I wish I could take all of it from you, to give you peace, but I cannot and I think that is what consumes me the most. It is not as if you came to me and said, you had found another, you had fallen in love and were moving on. Then, there would perhaps be the anger and fury you have been expecting from me. I know that is not the case, but I also know, all I can do is stand there, and hope that you reach out to me, even if it's only briefly."

Shai had no idea if what she was saying made sense. She was flooded with so much she wanted to say, but could have been satisfied to continue to watch him and know that the unspoken was more powerful than anything.

"The bond we made comes with no conditions. Nor does it come with the illusion of perfection. We have gone through too much together to ever deem that. But the one thing that is the hardest is to finally realize that our fall can be broken."

"It's funny, you would have me reach to stop falling and I'd be afraid that it would pull you along with me. I don't know, sometimes I wonder what I am doing, I'm not sure if I figure that out easily. I hear echoes on the wind Shai, a storm is coming but I am afraid that I don't know when or where it comes from." He reached to wipe a tear from her cheek with his thumb. "Whatever it is though it will swallow me up inside of it too. I haven't told you that I am proud of you. I haven't said how fine you are for the son you bore. I am, and you are, that is small consolation though."

He took a deep breath at the contact, not remembering the last time he had touched anyone in a way that wasn't violent, except of course for the baby. There had been nothing given to Antonio or Marcus despite the opportunity. He really had pushed everyone off of him and stood alone. "Thank you."
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was she a glutton for punishment? Absolutely not. She was just a woman who looked at the entire picture, and not just the bottom right corner of it where everything was wonderful and didn't change.

"Does it make me out of my mind, if I am to say that if you pull me along with you, then that is what was meant to be? How we are supposed to unfold?" A slight tilt of her head at the touch, a breath was drawn and she positively felt the familiar of his calloused thumb pad.

"You can't fight the wind, Kruger or what is holds for you. You can only hope to understand what it finally holds for you and see if it answers questions and elements that have run ramped within you for many years. At that point, when the dust settles, you rebuild and if it takes you with it that is something you face when it happens. All of that I know seems impossible, but you have to force yourself to embrace YOU, before you can embrace anyone or anything else."

Reaching over to him, fingertips were trembling violently and she brushed the back of her hand down his cheek. "It isn't a small consolation, it is what it is, regardless of
it being spoken or not. I did know." Then a fractional smile. "You're welcome..."

Kruger held his breath when her hand touched his cheek. There had been attempts to touch him consolingly. He had flinched from all of them, not wishing to be consoled or fixed.

This was where he wanted to be, his place of choice, funny how the one person who understood it best should be Shai. She who had the most right to be angry was the one who refused to be.

"Crazy? No, it isn't crazy, or at least I am not one who could call you such without naming myself hypocrite. The line between want and deserve is fine. I know you want to make that fall because you love me and feel it is your place. Because it means we are together and at the least that much seems to make sense. I don't know what happens Shai, not yet. There will be no barrister coming with papers, no surprise divorce on the horizon. We will discuss that before it happens...We've made our other decisions together haven't we?" He obviously didn't include this one though, but they were together now.

"I wish to not know in advance what our future holds. I would prefer to take it minute by minute, and what comes, does." Shai didn't withdraw her hand, it remained steadfast in an almost soothing fashion. "Together, perhaps facing what comes in a unified way, as it should be. We have always been skilled in taking things as they come, no matter the nature of them. Will you do something for me?"
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kruger looked down at her and gave a careful nod. "Maybe that's true, not seeing what's ahead may be an answer." He gave a swallow at her request wondering what she might need or if he could would be able to do it properly. "I will try Shai that I can promise you. What do you wish of me?" He stood waiting, his face used to her touches long before she had initiated this one. It was this one that he couldn't seem to get out of his head.

Her fingers splayed and came to a more cupping perplexity at his cheek, the pad of her thumb unable to resist the notion to stroke beneath his eye. That habit forever inclined.

"Come to me, no matter the time or the day, allow yourself to need me just a bit, until you feel you can do so more. I want to know what you are going through, what you are facing, even if there is nothing I can do but to be at your side, come to me, please...I want to know, even if you think it's ridiculous." There was a quality to
the request that was so utterly thick, and so blatant in its honesty, it could not be overshadowed.

He took that last step forward, letting his arms circle Shai and press her against him. His fingers smoothed back her hair as they had done more times than he could easily remember. "I'll see what I can do Shai. Look for me in the early afternoons so long as the roads are passable on the way to Belglade." She had said you can't fight the wind, that wasn't exactly true, you could struggle against it until you found your goal. "When the snows fall...look for me a little later...and perhaps expect me to stay a little longer." Assuming it was okay with her, that she didn't find her own path.

The breath Shai took when his arms came around her, could definitely be felt. It was huge and her arms slid right around him in turn. Burying her face against his chest, she breathed him in deeply, that familiar scent that was him. "Come and go as you wish. Stay if you so desire. If you hesitate to come to our bed, it is understood, but know that you will have to nudge me a little to move over from your side and you are welcome. “Closing her eyes, Shai relished in the feel of him, right into the very fiber of her.”Dear God, I've missed the feel of you so much."

He didn't doubt her, physical contact and familiarity. His body knew her by touch as easily as his eyes did by sight. There was never doubt that she wasn't missed. He was being hard on himself, purposely hard and pushing himself until he could see clearly again.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Nothing promised Shai, just now that is what I have. It is what you say is best too, the now. I feel the emptiness too, though it is my own doing." He had grown used to her over time, it stood to reason that she needed him as well, even in this small simple way.

"There are always nights that travelling isn't possible, and I have never had to hide words from you. It may take me a while to figure them out from time to time but once done they flow easily." He couldn't say where he would be comfortable until it happened. Winter was unpredictable so close to the sea.

Tipping her head back, Shai searched his gaze a long moment and nodded. "No promises. We have now. Each minute." Repeating what he said, what she said, they were on the same page. Perhaps for the first time in quite awhile. Leaning up slightly, a tender kiss was placed to the spot beneath his eye. "May I kiss the corner of your mouth?" So very whispered, she was also hesitant, much like she knew he was. Her arms steadfast around him, melded together in such a mutually understanding and tenacious embrace.

Kruger didn't trust his voice, he didn't trust anything anymore that had to do with his own decisions. He let too much go perhaps, or maybe he just was never strong enough. He shook his head though it was killing him to deny her. "I'm just not sure Shai, it would be too easy to fall into those habits. Just hold on please, an hour...two perhaps. I'm not going anywhere, and I don't need to open quickly." He was giving her all he knew how to at the moment and knew that it wouldn't be enough.

Shai smiled and was actually relieved by his words, relieved in the sense of him being absolutely honest with her, when he could have very easily given in. That was strength. That was a strength she needed desperately from him. Shifting up a wee bit, the hold she took on him would have been considered fierce, from someone of her stature, but it was there and she had no intention of letting go.

"Thank you for being secure enough with me, for your honesty to shine through. I won't let you go. You have my word..." It was there they would remain, quietly or not, amongst the crackle of the melding pots.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Unexpected Encounter Reply with quote

Time had a distinct way of creeping up on us when we least expect it, then proceeds to barrel it's hand atop us, until we are so far behind our general tasks, we know not where to begin. This was one of those situations and it found Shai on an unexpected trip into the city.

Rochelle had come along, but would remain in the carriage at the mouth of a nearby alley with the ever present Antonio tending the horses. Thank the Saint's for the small pot stove within the confines, it was not near as large as most, but it would suffice.

After feeding Niko, and her garments were put back in place, she stepped from it and onto the splintered cobbles to tend to her business not far away. There had been the question of the Forge and if they would be stopping in.

While that was what she wished to do, Shai was not quite certain at that moment and blew the two a kiss before a hitch was given her skirts and she set off towards the Apothecary's store front. Such a bustle of people this day.

The table was loaded down with books, a weary head over an open volume as Kruger scribbled notes onto parchment and read a little more. The bell over the door did not catch his attention because this wasn't his place to watch for customers. A second volume was pulled down and opened, his eyes squinting as he read through a page and jotted down some more notes. He hadn't done this for some time, been here or read this deeply.

The volumes would be mundane to most, books on metallurgy and ancient
forging techniques. The current volume he was reading was a study on the five schools of Katana making. He had it open to the difference in their methods. He laid down the pen and ran a hand through his hair in concentration.

After a lengthy conversation with Gaston, the ointment was made up and Shai took her leave. While he was concerned over the slight grayish tinge to her features, he hadn't suggested anything as of yet, but for her to perhaps eat a more protein enriched diet, as Niko was literally taking all of the nutrients from her system as his own. It was nothing truly to be concerned about.

She had noticed it herself, but thought in time, it would definitely straighten itself out. Not far up the walk, there was an altercation between several men and it was in the avoidance of such that she crossed the street to make her way up the other side. Catching the mere sight of a familiar through the nearby window, she was about to step inside when her elbow was touched and she turned to face whomever it was.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Unexpected Encounter Reply with quote

"What a pleasant surprise, Mrs. Allen. I was just thinking about you a couple of days ago!" It was Mr. Giles. A Solicitor she had business with at one time or another in the past.

"So good to see you, Mr Giles. It has been sometime." They proceeded to have polite conversation, talk of the child, of Belglade, it just went on and on. But still, every now and then, she would glance through the window pane.

Kruger pressed the fingertips of one hand to his forehead. He hated book work but felt the need to refresh his memory on a few points.

A turn of the head showed Shai just outside. His smile cut off his frustrated sigh. He gave a nod though she seemed to be deep in conversation with someone. Kruger's arms went over his head as he stretched until his spine popped.

He waved for her to come in and join him if she wished. A small gesture that he wasn't sure if she would abide. The look on her face spoke of either uncertainty or a need to be rescued...maybe it was a touch of both? He couldn't be sure yet but soon enough he would know. If she lingered he would go to her.

It was just as the gentleman was beginning to speak to her about a rumor he had heard of her Shai reopening the Salon in Rhydin, that slender brows began to pinch in confusion. "I think I would be aware of this if it was going to happen, I assure you there are no plans for such things at this point."

Mr Giles seemed almost visibly disappointed and nodded quickly. A touch of Shai's fingertip fluttered across his arm. "If you'll excuse me, Sirrah....my husband is waiting for me inside. It was glorious to see you, please give your Lady my best."

And without waiting for his response, she swiveled on a heel and ducked inside amongst the stacks and door bell's sounding.

Giving herself a little shake, she noted the Solicitor giving Kruger a tip of his head and he meandered away. While it was snowing and blustery outside, it was warm to a fault inside. Taking a moment to relieve herself of the coat worn, she gave it a shake and draped it across her arm while heading in the Blacksmith's direction with an almost look of thick amusement upon her feature's. Amusement indeed.

"You look forlorn, Mister Allen, trapped in a mountain of books..." Her words coming at a hushed whisper, mirth riddled, but a whisper.

Kruger's head tilted at Mr. Giles. It was odd lately to be acknowledged by anyone not a customer. The closing door blocked the man from view and let him watch as Shai approached.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject: Unexpected Encounter Reply with quote

"I am out of my element sure enough Shai, still it is necessary sometimes. I'm planning on giving a onetime class, no that isn't quite right...I'm not sure what to call it really. The subject though is something I think will appeal to people. I will be instructing on the making of the Katana. Though it will be more physical than book work. This is for me so I can use the right terms and...I don't know, it is something I have wanted to do for a while.

To show how the smiths of old got it right despite not knowing exactly what was happening." He slide the books aside and made a space for Shai to sit. "What brings you into town? I assume it isn't Niko or you would be more insistent and a little less amused."

"Sound's interesting, and something you would excel at, absolutely.." Peeling her gloves from her fingers, they were set atop the coat on the back of a nearby chair. Shai was not one to fidget, however this was one of the first times she had been tied back into a corset, since the birth of Nikolai and she was being pinched harshly.

Shifting slightly, it helped a little but not by much. The role of Teacher or Master Teacher was something Shai could certainly see him being within his element. "You will surely let me know how it is going."

Glancing over and to the side of the books, reading their bindings, a slight purse of her lips was given as she lowered herself to perch on the edge of the chair. "I had been putting off coming in to see the herbalist for some ointment and my oils. It was a must to do so today. Nikolai is in the carriage with Rochelle and being kept warm as I assumed it would take some time with the snow fall and he won't tolerate his feedings being late. Rather insistent he has become. When do you start teaching your classes?"

Kruger gave a nod for Nikolai's whereabouts. "You should have said something when I was out last, I would have brought you what you needed. Of course that would mean we didn't sit here now so maybe it is for the best."

He took in her state of discomfort. "You look good, if a bit out of sorts Shai. I'll begin in the next term, in keeping with tradition." He pointed to a book on making a Tatara kiln.

"They only make the steel in the winter, it seemed fitting to do so. I am unable to procure the proper steel, it is illegal to ship unless it has been formed into items. So my class begins with making Tamahagane. I hope you are right and things go well for me. I will only offer this once."


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:03 pm    Post subject: Unexpected Encounter Reply with quote

Nodding as he spoke, Shai was genuinely interested as she always was. His chosen line of work having always fascinated her, something that was not kept to the skeleton closets. Flipping through a couple of the pages, it spoke of copper mixes with sulphate. Shai assumed it had to be so to not destroy the kiln. Glancing over to him, she smiled.

"Tamahagane, that is Japanese and made of iron and sand. They use a tatara for it." She was out of sorts because having a child that nursed a thousand times a day had certain fleshy attributes, cracked and bleeding and so very painful. But she would not speak on it. "I will keep that in mind the next time it is needed, thank you."

It was simply a subject that was best kept to herself. "You should gather up your books and ride out to Belglade for dinner, if you wish. It would give you a place to stretch out and read." The invitation was there.

He gave an easy smile and a nod. "Yes, I intend to have those who wish to attend learn by creating for themselves. It will be a difficult first week for me. I won't sleep until the Keru is completed."

He considered the offer for a moment before gathering up the volumes. "I would like that I think, it will allow me to do more with the ride. I had planned to make the trip shortly but the books would have stayed at the forge." He started to rise so he could pack them into a leather bag for carrying. "You're sure it won't be...an intrusion?" He offered her a hand to stand with. He wasn't going to say that he hadn't been keeping track of his meals.

"Never an intrusion, it is your home..." Taking his hand, she rose and pulled the coat back on, as well her gloves. Shai had never asked where he was staying, it had never occurred to her to do so and was still under the impression he was living at the forge.

Assured he had picked up everything, she headed to the door with him. Then offhandedly. "It would seem there is some rumor milling about that I am reopening the Salon here, according to Mr Giles. I truly wish some would tend to themselves and not such nonsense."


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Unexpected Encounter Reply with quote

He gave a little scoff to the news. "I wouldn't fault him Shai, there are a couple of new places that have opened, though I believe they are a more vulgar venue that what you ran. Folks like Giles would fail to see the subtle differences between the Salon and a sex house."

He threw his coat on and hefted the bag over his shoulder. Out of habit he took her hand while they walked. "Much of that stuff has been increasing here...not that this should surprise with the state of the government." He wasn't going to start down that road unless she really wished to discuss it.

"The state of the government is as it has always been, passive aggressive and self served." Softly spoken, there wasn't really anything to elaborate on. "The rubbish will continue to evolve."

It wasn't a very long walk to the carriage and Antonio was still standing exactly where he was when Shai had left. This was a meeting she hadn't thought about, but she had confidence it would all be fine.

Antonio actually didn't seem shocked to see Kruger. When Shai opened the door to the carriage, Rochelle spotted Kruger and smiled. "I was just thinking of you and if you were at your Forge, dear boy..."

Nikolai was sound asleep nearby on the bench seat.

Climbing in, Shai shivered. "This cold cuts to the bone." Then added. "Kruger is going to be joining us this evening...."

Rochelle nodded quickly. "Good! There is a pot of rabbit stew that has been boiling down since yesterday, it should be a feast!"

The smith eyed Antonio less passively than the last time they had met. Something in that look translated to the mason perhaps. It was hard to tell for certain, but there were no words passed between them.

Instead he looked to Rochelle with a small smile. "Not today, I have other things that need doing." He held the door for Shai and gave her an arm to mount with. "A stew sound perfect for the weather."

Nikolai was looked on fondly as the smith slid into the carriage too and settled his books on the floor. He took his seat perhaps a little uncomfortable to be riding anywhere again.

"I am grateful for the lift, it really will help today with the snow on the roads." He took the seat that was his by that same habit that had him doing so many things. He closed the door and pounded the side to let Antonio know everyone was settled.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject: Just....Breathe.... Reply with quote

The storms are raging on the rolling sea...
And on the highway of regret....
The winds of change are blowing wild and free...


While it snowed quietly outside, the main house was full of scents and sounds that threatened to titillate the senses and wrap the body in a warmth that was comparable to none.

Kruger was upstairs' with Niko, Rochelle was in the kitchens cooking as she always was. Sophie was present that evening as well. The child had begged her father to allow her to stay over the night. You see, she was aiding Rochelle in the preparation's for their Yule celebration. Gio had finally given in with a chuckle and gave his princess what she so desired.

Perched atop the chaise, Shai was busying herself with a stack of paperwork and was immersed in the written word. It was getting late and as she rose, silk robing was pulled tightly around her frame and she headed up the stairs.

Over the last weeks, Shai's emotional status had become just that. A status. So, it was when she heard Kruger speaking to their son, she had leaned there just at the door frame and listened. He spoke to Niko with such passion, conviction, perhaps even a lot of misunderstanding of himself. Tragic and near fore lorn, it pulled at her very core that she could not take it all away and give him the peace he so required. So deserved.

Did she see her husband as dishonorable? Absolutely not. She saw him as having no choice but to fight with this inner turmoil, these deep rooted demons that seemed to take him over and left him gasping for life.

Many perhaps would never understand, why she stood by him, even through the mind piercing pain that seemed to come from him. But did it truly come from him? Or did it come from a place that could never be imagined, even in the most wild of all dreams?

Shai loved this man, loved him in such a way that bordered on the line of being almost masochistic in a sense, to the untrained eye. Those eyes bore little consequence to her. She would not change anything other than the pain and turmoil he always seemed to be blanketed in. She would be there at every turn, if he so chose to allow her such. When he stepped from the flame, she would shroud him and ride out the wave that threatened to consume them all.

Marriage was not picking and choosing what a person wished to deal with. It was the good, it was the bad. Through the bad, the bond either broke or it became so cemented in place that nothing could threaten it. So many, at the first sign of issue, tucked tail and ran. Refusing to even consider the fact that all is not as it truly seems. There was more. Peel back the layers, find what hides beneath and allow it into the open. Did this lack hurt? Not in any context. But there must be strength and resolution that it will be overcome regardless if that matrimonial declaration, remained intact.

When all went quiet, only then did Shai peek into the suite and noted Kruger asleep there against the wall, with a small smile tugging at her lips. Careful in her footing, she shut the door and closed the distance to the bassinet, peeking in on Niko. Sound asleep and suckling at his lower lip, a caress met his cheek and she turned to tug up the afghan from the end of the bed. Draping it carefully over Kruger, a pause given as he shifted slightly with a grunt.

Extinguishing each lantern's light, lest one, it kept the shadows at bay but offered just enough light to see as she prepared herself for bed.

Slipping between the sheets, what she wouldn't give to have his arms around her, just once. How she missed his touch, his breath across her skin. How she longed for him to fill every crevice of her, with his scent. Instead, it was his pillow she wrapped lithe limbs around and drifted to sleep as tear's left her own pillow damp. Perhaps, there would be peace and contentment this night.

They were together....
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Kruger
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Cross Posted: Here)

"Too Close"

You've given me more than I can return
Yet there's also much that you deserve
Nothing to say, nothing to do,
I've nothing to give
I must leave without you
~ Alex Clare


The floorboards creaked, beneath Shai's step as she crossed from the master bedroom and then into the hallway, to come to a halt outside of the nursery. A slight lean taken on the door jam, she listened as Kruger spoke to Nikolai and cleared her throat when he grew quiet. Her voice that of a mere whisper, as to not startle him or their son.

"Kruger, before you leave this evening, I would like a moment of your time, if you're able."

Kruger, laid Nikolai in the crib, warmly bundled in his blankets. He had reacted to the creaking floor and the request with a nod and a curiosity that would only be satisfied once the moment came to talk with Shai. She wouldn't pull him from his time with Niko, that of course was good, but perhaps it said something else as well. He wouldn't analyze the reasons behind it. Who was he to even try to analyze her? The floor boards still creaked in all the same places. Despite their efforts that hadn't been found. Perhaps it served a better purpose as an alarm.

He couldn't figure out what to do with his hands. He stood in the doorway looking at Shai for a moment before his arms went across his chest. "Niko is sleeping, he took eight ounces and burped well. I changed him before feeding him, so he will likely need to be changed later tonight." He went quiet again, a little paranoid maybe, or was it something else? "What did you want to talk about?"

A light nod to Kruger's word's, Shai brushed around him and quietly closed the nursery door to step deeper into the hallway. She didn't make a move to walk into the bedroom, to do such would be unfair grounding. Instead, it was there in the lantern light that hung so precariously from the well draped walls, she stared at him, for a long moment.

Was this a declaration of defeat? Not at all. It was a declaration of what was factual.

"With all that has happened, I do not feel as if I belong here any longer." It was instantaneous, the tear's welling in dark eyes. "It is a constant reminder of all that I held to be true and forthright. Our marriage, our love for one another. While, I will draw my final breath loving you, all of you....I know it was a ruse on your part, I have accepted as much. You have said no different, as I thought you might."
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Too Close Reply with quote

This was the very last thing Shai ever wanted to do and all it would take, is for him to say anything to change her mind. Even though he had abandoned her emotionally, she felt horrid that she was in essence, now leaving him. Shai had thought, that if the Blacksmith was given a release of all that plagued him, he would realize he was in fact worthy of a happy life. He was worthy of the life HE had chosen, when HE declared his desire and passion to build a family, to build something that was rightfully his. With her.

"If you have no objection, I will be returning to Greece in the Spring, with Nikolai."

He wasn't sure what she expected, it was hard to see her cry. It always had been, she had rarely displayed it to him. "You want to take Niko?" It wasn't all he had heard, truth is he wanted to try and work backwards along this slippery path. "Have I not been coming to see him often enough to suit? If this place is not where you belong sell it, find your place. Perhaps you believe your place is Greece?"

His brows descended over his eyes angrily. "I've never stopped you from doing what you think you must. I can't really stop you now. You would say if I have no objection, except that I do and I am sorry if it isn't the one you want. How will I see him there Shai? I am not ashamed of my child, leaving him to be raised alone by you... that is for others." His mouth closed with an audible click as teeth set and muscles in his jaw locked it that way. He swallowed hard, and took deep breaths through his nose.

Kruger's hands came away from his chest quickly the urge to grip something tightly had them wrapped around the banister nearby. "I know I only make this harder for you. I also know you never seemed weak to me. Maybe you need time? Time away from here, from memories of... everything." He had been about to say 'me' but couldn't quite manage it.

"If you make this permanent for yourself, it will never be for Niko. I want him too... Is this meant as a cruelty Shai? Some revenge for walking out?" The hollowness just seemed to grow in him the more he considered what she was asking for. "I'm sure I deserve this and more. I'm sure I will pay over and over again. Spring... His christening... and then you go?" His eyes were burning, and no matter how hard he tried to keep the set to his jaw, it refused to obey him.
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