Author Notes:

Well this is my third story. I'm sure you are all about ready to kill me for starting YET ANOTHER story before finishing the others but I find myself bogged down with thoughts and they are affecting my writing. I have re-written chapters several times in my other stories and can not seem to get them just right so I need a little time away from them to clear my mind and get back into the grove.

Ok so this story is set in the months and years after the end of Suikoden 3. The story revolves around the relationship that I strongly believe should have been present and was in my option starting to form at the end of the game. I am of course referring to the relationship between Hugo and Chris.

So without further delay, I hope you enjoy An Unlikely Pair

An Unlikely Pair

Chapter One: Feelings Realized

By Cybergades

It was a warm summer night and the stars were glistening in the distance as brightly as ever while the new chief of Karaya lounged out beneath the sky lost in his thoughts. His thoughts drifted lazily from the past into the possibilities that his future held and everything in between. It had been nearly a year since the end of the war with Zexen and Holy Harmonia. In that time a wavering peace had been established between Zexen and the Grassland clans due largely to the efforts of himself and the Captain of the Zexen Knights Chris Lightfellow.

Hugo once again found himself thinking back on the days of the war and wondering if there was anything he could have done to save his best friend. He had watched in horror as Lulu had been struck down by Chris Lightfellow "The Silver-Maiden" they called her. He had sworn vengeance on her that night as he buried his young friend and returned his soul and body to the wind and earth spirits but in all the time since he had never been able to bring himself to exact that retribution.

There had been plenty of chances to do it but every time the chance came he found himself holding back and it pained him to think of the situation that he was in now. He had befriended his best friend's killer. He knew that it was illogical to think about it that way. She like the rest of them had been played by Luc and the death of Lulu had been an accident. She had reacted out of instinct like any other warrior would have. And yet he still found himself thinking about his Oath to his friend to kill the person responsible for his death. He just didn't know what to do.

It had all started near the end of the war. They had set aside their differences to battle Luc and in that time he had gotten to know her for who she was and not who the Zexen people made her out to be. He had seen past her Silver Maiden persona and in that moment he had found her vulnerable. She had needed somebody to lean on just as much as he had and so they had supported each other.

By the end of the war he had embraced her as a true friend and they were well on the way to becoming the best of friends like he and Lulu had been. He had been surprised beyond words when he started actually dreading having to part with her and when he finally left Brass castle after the war and returned home he had found himself thinking of his friend constantly. His feelings just didn't make any sense to him and no matter how hard he tried to figure them out he always came up blank.

Less then a month after the war had ended he had taken over the Clan as chief and as one of his first orders of business he had worked closely with Chris to ensure a lasting peace treaty be developed between Zexen and the Grassland tribes. The peace negotiations had taken months and during that time Hugo had practically lived at Brass Castle. He had been surrounded by Zexen's and the majority of them had little respect for him.

It was during this time that Chris had been his most stringent supporter. She had spent practically every day with him, made sure he had somebody to talk to and eat with and that he understood everything that the council was requesting or proposing. The time spent in close proximity to Chris had done little to help with his already confused feelings for her. He had found himself thinking of her constantly and for some reason he had started to get nervous whenever she was around.

When the negotiations had finished he had returned to Karaya and finished rebuilding the village with his people. Since then he had seen her several times when he visited Brass castle and his feelings had continued to trouble him. In recent months things had only gotten more confusing. He had just recently turned 16 and as in the eyes of his people he was old enough to begin searching for a life companion. The matter was further complicated by the fact that he was Chief of the village and as such he was expected to marry by his 18th birthday.

His mother had been prancing potential suitors in front of him for months now and he had found himself strangely uninterested in all of them. It wasn't that they weren't attractive or that they were rude or uninteresting. In fact most of them were quite attractive and many of them had been great to spend time with but he just didn't find them interesting in that manner.

Even stranger in his mind was that he had been quite agitated with his mother for her efforts and had on several occasions snapped at her when she had tried to force the matter. He couldn't think of any logical reason as to why he would be so mad about it and yet he was. Beyond all of that was the strange dreams he had been having as of late. In the past few weeks he had been dreaming about Chris almost every night. He couldn't really remember must about them but he remembered clearly that she was always in them and he always seemed so happy when he woke up.

Despite all the good things that had happened over the past year he had been depressed almost the entire time. At first it had only been minor incidents of depression but as time went on it had gotten worse. It wasn't just depression either, it was guilt. He felt guilty because he felt he had betrayed one friendship for another. These thoughts had been plaguing him ever since the end of the war and his internal battle was tearing him apart. It had even started to affect his work even though he refused to admit it.

These feelings had started at the end of the war while he and Chris were saying their farewells. He knew that it was going to be the last time he saw her in a long time and that in fact he may never see her again. They had embraced as a show of friendship and said their goodbyes. In that instant Hugo had been torn between his loyalty to his new friend and that of his old one. He had thought about how easy it would have been to remove his dagger and bury it in her side.

In the end he had ignored the urge and instead had wished her well and left without looking back and ever since that day he had wondered weather his decision had been the correct one or if he should have exacted his vengeance right then and there. The funny thing was that no matter how much he fought with himself he always choose to side with Chris. There had in fact been dozens of chances since then and every time the result had been the same.

In the past few weeks Hugo had taken to trying to contact the spirit world to gain insight into his troubled mind but it seemed that even that was being denied to him. He had tried on several occasions but each time he had ended the night with failure. It seemed that the Spirits refused to come to his aid. He wondered if perhaps this was his punishment for not killing Chris like he had sworn to.

Hugo sighed and stood up slowly, brushing himself off he breathed deeply and then let out another long sigh before turning around and looking over the village. They had just finished rebuilding it a few months ago and he was proud to call it home. The village was thriving once more and under his leadership they had recovered quickly from the after effects of the war. Hugo smiled lightly as he watched the faces of two familiar women walk towards him from the edge of the village. He wondered what they wanted now.

Lucia walked towards her son who stood on the edge of the hill overlooking the village. She had become increasing distressed about his odd behavior over the last few months and on the few occasions she had questioned him about it she had been met with less then pleasant responses. In addition to his strange behavior in relation to the clans tradition of marriage She had noticed how troubled he had been recently. If truth be told he had been troubled since the end of the war but it seemed to have escalated in the past few months rather then subside.

He had seemed to withdraw into himself more and he always seemed to be so lost in his thoughts. She had come to realize that it had something to do with the Silver Maiden as she had heard him utter her name on many occasions in his sleep and while she had a pretty good idea as to what was troubling him she didn't want to jump to any conclusions. To her right as Luce who as it seemed had similar concerns. In their recent conversations it had become apparent that they both had similar ideas as to what could be troubling Hugo and they wanted to help him as best they could.

As Lucia walked towards her son she could sense the pain in his heart and knew that something was bothering him. In the past he had refused her help but tonight was going to be different, She had decided to play dirty tonight. Beside her Luce looked towards Lucia briefly and smiled. The two women had decided to double team the young man and force him to talk.

Luce walked slowly up the hill beside Lucia and smiled brightly at the boy she considered to be her son. Her precious Lulu had been best friends with the boy and she had always considered him to be just as much of a son to her as Lulu had been. She stopped at the top of the Hill a few feet away from Hugo and Lucia did likewise.

Hugo looked between the two women he considered to be his parents and couldn't help but frown slightly as he could already sense that he was not going to like the conversation that was surely to come. He forced a smile to his face and welcomed them as he usually did. "Hello mother, Hello Luce, what can I do for you two tonight?" Hugo looked back and forth between the two and immediately knew he was in trouble.

Lucia put on her most motherly voice and filled it with concern as she began to speak. "Hugo, I know that something is bothering you deeply and I wish for you to talk to me about it. I am your mother and if you can not trust me then who can you trust?" questioned Lucia sadly. Hugo was about to reply but Luce beat him to the punch. "Lucia is right Hugo. I too can tell that something has been troubling you and it has only gotten worse in recent months. What troubles you so little one?"

Hugo frowned and spoke quietly and smoothly but with enough force in his voice to let them know he was serious. "I do not believe that my problems are of any of your concern. I am an adult grown and do not need you two to mother me so. Leave me to my own problems, I will be fine and they will not effect my performance as Chief of Karaya." Replied Hugo.

A soul tear rolled down Lucia's face as she stared at her soon in shock. He had never spoken so roughly with her before and he still refused to tell her. That was it, she was going to find out what was behind all of this even if she had to beat it out of him. "Hugo" yelled Lucia, "You will tell me what is bothering you this instant or I will show you that you are still too young to stand up against me. I am your mother and I want to help you. So you will tell me what the problem is right this instant." Demanded Lucia as her voice wavered slightly at the end.

Hugo shook his head slightly and let out a deep sigh before falling backwards onto the ground and resting his head in his hands. It was all just too much to understand. How could he possibly explain everything to them, they could never understand how he felt. Hell he didn't understand the way he felt and he was the one feeling it. Still there was little choice in the matter. His mother was dead set on hearing about his problems and by the look on Luce's face she felt the same way.

Hugo breathed deeply once more and resigned himself to his fate. He closed his eyes and began to speak. "Very well if you both insist on hearing my problems then take a seat and listen as you may." Replied Hugo. Luce and Lucia both looked briefly at each other before quickly sitting down and settling in for what they assumed would be a long story.

"My heart is divided mother. It has been well over a year since Lulu's death and yet I have not kept the oath of blood that I swore over his shallow grave. I swore to kill the person responsible for his death and yet no matter what I do I can not bring myself to do it. I have failed him and in doing so I have disgraced myself and this village. I know that I should hate her; I know that I should wish death upon her but I cannot. Somehow during the war we became close. We became friends and no matter how much I try to make myself hate her I can't do so. And yet I can't forgive her either. I will always remember that it was she who struck him down and for that I can't forgive her. I'm so lost, I just don't know what to do anymore." Said Hugo as tears slowly began to seep out of the corners of his eyes.

Luce looked at Hugo and felt a great sense of sorrow for her only remaining son. She knew that Lulu's death weighed on him but she had no idea that it was this bad. "Is that what you are concerned about Hugo? My dear boy you have nothing to be ashamed of. You have not failed this village nor have you failed Lulu. You kept your promise to him and killed the one responsible for his death; you simply refuse to acknowledge that the person responsible was not the one who actually committed the deed." Said Luce with a small smile on her face.

Hugo's head snapped up at the statement and the look he gave Luce made it obvious that he thought she was nuts. Seeing this Lucia decided it was time for her to add her piece. "Luce is right Hugo. We all did things during the war that we regret but we must all remember that we were being played as fools by Luc and his gang the entire time. The sparked the fire of war between us and it was that fact that caused Lulu's death. Chris Lightfellow may have swung the sword that killed him but it was Luc that wielded it from the shadows. You know as well as any Hugo how much that event has affected the Silver Maiden. I may not hold any great love for the women but you yourself claim her as a friend. There is no dishonor in not wishing to harm a friend. Striking down one friend to avenge another is not something that a warrior of Karaya does and as a warrior you should know just as well as I that Lulu was killed in self defense. It is true that if they had not been here that it would not have happened in the first place but that fact as you know was entirely the work of Luc and his gang of misfits." Finished Lucia.

Hugo stared in disbelief at his mother and surrogate mother. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. They were telling him that it was ok to be friends with Chris and what's more that they didn't think that he had any need or right to kill her, that she like the rest of them had been nothing more then a pawn in a sick game played by a mad man. Hugo smiled slightly. "Thank you mother, Thank you Luce. I appreciate this. I feel somewhat better now. If you will excuse me I have a lot to think about."

Before he could leave Lucia reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder. Hugo turned around and stared at his mother with confusion. "Was there something else mother?" he asked. Lucia smiled knowingly and nodded. "Hugo, you know that I love you and I want you to be happy. I have noticed that your mind has been elsewhere lately, especially when it has come to your marriage requirement." Said Lucia as she continued to smile. If her hunch was correct her son had more then just feelings of friendship for the Silver Maiden.

Hugo looked at his mother with mock confusion as he tried to hide the fact that it was true and replied. "I'm not sure I know what you mean mother." Lucia smiled brightly at her son. "I have been presenting you with potential suitors for months Hugo and even the ones that you seem to get along with great you seem uninterested in. But more then that every time I bring one to see you, you seem angry with me and you have even yelled at me for it on several occasions. If I didn't know better I would say that you already had somebody in mind." Said his mother with a hint of amusement.

Hugo looked at his mother like she was crazy before replying. "Mother I think you are getting senile in your old age. I simply have no interest in marriage right now and there is nobody that interests me in that manner at this time." said Hugo. "Not even Chris Lightfellow?" inquired Luce who decided to join the conversation at this moment seeing exactly where Lucia was going with it.

Hugo gasped before practically yelling at them both. "Are you both crazy? Chris is a friend and nothing more. I do not lover her and doubt I ever could. She's a Zexen anyways. How could I possibly love a Zexen?" said Hugo but in reality he was wondering to himself if perhaps love was what he really had been feeling lately. He shook his head mentally and pushed the thought away. That was impossible. He couldn't love her. it just wasn't possible.

Luce laughed. "What does her being a Zexen have to do with anything Hugo. You are friends with her after all. Loving her is not far of from considering her to be a good friend it's simply more intimate." Said the wise old lady. Hugo Shook his head adamantly. "I'm telling you I do not lover her and that's that." Said Hugo. Lucia smiled. "Very well son, if that's what you believe in your heart then who are we to argue. Perhaps all of the stress has been getting to you. I think it would do you some good to take a break. Perhaps go visit your friend in Brass Castle and see if she can help you through your issues. Who knows maybe she will have some insight for you." said Lucia as she smiled evilly.

Hugo looked at his mother suspiciously before shaking the feeling off. "I think I will take you up on that offer. I could use a break. I'll be back in a month. That should give me enough time to find the answers I need." Said Hugo as he stood. "Thank you both for your time. I really should get some rest now. I'll have a long ride ahead of me tomorrow. "Good night son." Responded Lucia as Luce mirrored her. Hugo smiled and turned towards his tent. He was looking forward to his visit to Brass Castle and he wasn't sure why.

Chris Lightfellow lay in her bed and stared at the ceiling with the look of a lost child on her face. She had found herself thinking about the future a lot lately and it scared her. She ran her fingers across her other hand where the True Water rune rested and sighed. In the months after the war ended when she had finally been able to relax a bit she had finally come to realize what her immortality truly meant for her. She had looked around and despite being surrounded by friends and comrades she felt alone.

The only time that she seemed to have a reprieve from her loneliness was when Hugo was around and she barely ever saw him because of their respective responsibilities. It was at this moment that the door to her room opened and her young squire walked in. Lewis stared at his Captain and startled. "Captain your not ready yet. We're supposed to leave for the border in an hour." Said Lewis as he walked forward. Chris looked towards the young man and smiled. "I'll be ready in a few minutes Lewis. I was just lost in my thoughts for a time that's all." and with that she got out of bed and proceeded to get ready.

Chris sat atop her horse donned in her shimmering armor with her long silver hair braided and hanging loosely down her back. To her left and right were her Mighty Zexen Knights and behind her were her squire Lewis and a small contingent of knights. They all sat on top of their horses in front of the gates of Brass Castle as they checked over their equipment one last time before heading out. Chris turned in her saddle to look at her knights and smiled. A moment later they were underway.

They had been ordered to the border to meet a large mass of troops that had set up camp on Zexen soil. The forces were from the Republic of Tinto who had been causing problems along the border of Zexen for several months now. The battles until recently had been small and quick with the enemy forces retreating in short order once confronted by the knights. However this time they had fought off the forces sent to meet them and had made camp as if they were preparing to entrench themselves. As a result The Mighty knights had been dispatched along with a full contingent of men to defeat them and send them packing.

Chris looked back at Brass Castle and as she did her eyes searched the horizon for the village that she knew was located far to the east. A village where a certain young warrior was busy governing and for a moment her head swam with a strange feeling before she shook he off and directed her attention back towards her destination. They had a long journey ahead of them. It would take nearly 2 days to make it to the border.

Hugo sprung up from his bed with a start. He had just had the strangest experience of his life. For weeks he had been trying to contact the sprits to find the answers that his soul sought and they would not respond. Now that he was sure that he had the answers he needed or at least to some extent they had arrived. Only it had not at all been what he expected. A tear ran down his face as a smile crossed his face. He sat still in his bed, breathing heavily and thought back over his vision.

Hugo stood in front of a large stone torch that stood almost as tall as he was and glowed brightly from the wild flame that flickered wildly atop the torch. Looking at his feet he realized he was standing near the centre of a large stone circle with the torch sitting in the exact centre and nothing but darkness surrounding him on all sides.

The flame from the torch fought back the endless darkness, keeping it at bay as it tried desperately to swallow him whole. Hugo spun around quickly as he heard a sound from the darkness and slowly backed up against the torch. He watched as a lone figured emerged from the darkness and in an instant all the warmth left Hugo and his body went pale.

Standing before him was his dear friend, the young boy whom he had grown up with and the one whom he personally had buried over a year earlier. Hugo fell to his knees and began to cry. How could this be happening? He was dead, there was no way he could be here and yet there he was. Why did the spirits torment him so?

Hugo's tears stopped as he felt a pair of warm arms wrap around him and he was pulled close into a loving embrace. He looked up in surprise to see his friend holding him, tears clearly visible in his eyes as well. "It has been a long time Hugo. I'm so glad to see your doing well. I'm sorry I wasn't able to stay by your side but I'm glad to see you made it through alright. There's no need to cry. Everything will be alright." Said Lulu in a calm and even voice as he hugged his friend close.

Hugo finally snapped out of his trance and wrapped his arms around his friend, holding him tight. "Oh Lulu, I'm so sorry. I failed you and you paid the price. It should have been me that died that day not you." cried Hugo as he continued to hold him close. Lulu laughed and Hugo pulled away slightly, blinking in surprise. "It wasn't your fault Hugo; I was the idiot that charged blindly at a Zexen knight, and not just any knight but the Silver Maiden. I made the mistake and I paid for it. I regret the decision but it is done and there is no use beating myself up for it." said Lulu as he stood up and pulled Hugo to his feet.

"Hugo as much as I would like to talk about old times I am here for a reason and I must fulfill that task. I've been watching over you since that day and I have seen how strong you've become. But more then that I've seen how depressed you've become. I know that it's my fault and I wanted to help you get past It." said Lulu. Hugo tried to deny the fact but Lulu cut him off.

"There's no need to deny it Hugo. I've watched as you battled for the freedom of both the Grasslands and Zexen and I have watched you become close with Chris Lightfellow. I've also watched you struggle with yourself over your feelings and I want to put a stop to it. You were and are my best friend Hugo and the last thing I want is for you to feel pain or loneliness because of me. I know that you have great feelings for her and that you push those feelings away while feeling guiltily about feeling them at all because of her part in my death. You deny your feelings and as a result your soul suffers."

"The fact is Hugo my death was not your fault and it was not hers. You must forgive her for this act and yourself up to the possibilities that lay before you. If you would just admit your feelings to yourself and to her you might be pleasantly surprised. I truly believe that there could be a future for the two of you. I know that you must marry in a couple of years Hugo. If you don't admit your feelings you will come to regret it. I know that she cares for you just as much as you do for her and it tears her up inside knowing that my blood stains her hands. Your forgiveness would mean the world to her and to me."

"I wish for you to be happy Hugo and if she is the one that does that for you then I want you to forgive her. You asked for answers from the spirits and I have given them to you. But those answers will be nothing if you refuse to acknowledge your true feelings and act on them." As Lulu finished his speech he turned away from his friend and began to walk back towards the darkness.

Hugo stared in shook at his friend's words and then realized that he was leaving. "Wait Lulu. Please don't go. I don't want to loose you again." yelled our Hugo. Lulu turned his head back towards his childhood friend and smiled brightly. "You never lost me in the first place Hugo. I have always been watching over you and will continue to do so. Remember what I said Hugo and open yourself up to the possibilities. She needs you just as much as you do and now more then ever." And with that he slipped into the darkness as was gone.

Hugo put his head in his hands as he tried to sort out his thoughts. He didn't really love Chris. Did he? No that was impossible, how could he possibly feel that way for her. they were friends, just friends. Weren't they? Maybe Lulu was right, maybe he was denying it, his mother and Luce both seemed to think so and Lulu was a spirit now, he wouldn't lie about it. Could he really be in love with her? He shook his head furiously as he felt a headache come on. "Ahhhh, I just don't know what to think anymore. Why the hell do my feelings have to be so confusing." Yelled Hugo as he sprung from his bed and began to get dressed. "I'll just have to go see Chris and talk to her. Maybe if I'm with her I can sort this all out and figure out if she even feels the same way for me." Said Hugo to himself as he pulled on a shirt.

Hugo walked out of his tent and looked up at the still star filled sky. By the position of the moon he figured it was about midnight. He had only been asleep for a few hours apparently. For a brief moment he considered going back to bed but in the end decided against it. He had to get this worked out and fast. It was driving him crazy and the only way he was going to solve it was if he talked to Chris about it.

Hugo slowly walked to the edge of the village to the spot he knew Fubar would be resting. He rounded the corner and walked to the crest of the small hill that was situated at the back of the village. There lying on the top of the hill with his head on his claws was Fubar. Hugo approached his friend and rubbed his head softly. Fubar raised his head and looked at Hugo before standing.

"How was your hunt Fubar?" asked Hugo as he smiled. "KWEEEE" said Fubar as he rubbed his head up against Hugo's side. Hugo laughed and got on his back. "Well I'm glad to hear you enjoyed yourself. How about a long ride? I need to get to Brass Castle to see Chris. If we push it we could make it by lunch. What do you say?" And with that the gryphon spoke once more before springing into the air and taking flight.

The pair flew all night and into the morning as they talked happily amongst each other. As they flew Hugo watched the scenery fly by him and enjoyed the scenery from the sky. A few hours into their flight Fubar dove for the ground to catch a rabbit that was running along the ground and Hugo noticed what looked like tracks from a large number of people. Seeing that they were far from any of the villages and the tracks seemed to be heading in the direction of Zexen he quickly brushed the information aside and continued to enjoy the journey.

By just after lunch the following day Hugo spotted Brass Castle on the horizon and smiled as he thought about Chris. Perhaps I really do love her. Just thinking about her makes me happy. Who would have ever thought that I would fall for a Zexen much less their hero thought Hugo as he chuckled to himself. They landed on the bridge and Hugo jumped off Fubar. Hugo walked towards the gates and was stopped by the guard. "Halt! State your name and business here." said the Guard.

Hugo shook his head. Even as allies they were still so arrogant, or at least some of them were. "Please inform Lady Chris that the Flame Champion is here to see her." stated Hugo figuring that would get them out of his way. He was half right. It got their attention at least. "Oh, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding sir. I didn't know. However I'm afraid that Lady Chris isn't here. She and the Mighty Knights left last night to deal with an armed force that attacked our forces along the border." Said the Guard. Hugo nodded grimly. He didn't like the sounds of that. Suddenly he felt very uneasy.

"Who can I talk to about their exact location?" asked Hugo as he looked from one guard to the other who had recently approached to see what the matter was. The guard looked at him questioningly before responding. "Well I can tell you where they went sir but why would you want to know?" asked the Guard. Hugo shook his head. He couldn't believe somebody could be so stupid. "Well as I said I need to speak with Lady Chris and if she's not here then I will go to her. Besides I may be able to lend my assistance. I am the Flame Champion after all." said Hugo in a bored tone.

The guard nodded. "Well sir they headed out to the south west. If you leave through the West gates you should be able to find there tracks and follow them to their destination. They left about 16 hours ago and it's a two day ride on horseback to their destination. I don't know how your going to catch up with them sir." Said the guard. Hugo nodded and headed inside Brass Castle towards the west gates. "Don't worry about me catching them. Fubar here is faster then any horse; we should be able to make it if we hurry." Said Hugo as he called back over his shoulder.

Hugo exited through the west gates and crossed the bridge once more before turning south west and heading off. A few minutes later he caught sight of their tracks which were hard to miss with such a large force traveling on horse back. He smiled to himself. Wouldn't she be surprised to see him? He might even get to make a grand entrance in the middle of the battle. That would surely impress her. Hugo shook his head to push the thoughts away. Where the hell did that come from he thought. Hugo had never thought about impressing anybody before and suddenly he felt the need to impress her. Hugo cleared the thoughts from his mind and continued forward on Fubar's back as they rushed to catch up with Chris and her men.

Chris sat in front of one of the many dinner fires at their recently established camp and looked out over the field that was likely to be their battleground in the coming hours. She watched as their enemies on the far side of the field all but ignored them as if they had no interest at all in fighting them and at the same time had nothing to fear from them.

Chris turned back to the food that sat in front of her and tried to shake the uneasy feeling that she was feeling. She just couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right. How could they be so confident? They didn't even seem to have any guards watching the parameter of their camp. It was as if they didn't fear them in the slightest. That in itself scared her but even more then that was the way the field was laid out. it was the perfect place for an ambush. She had sent scouts out into the trees on the left and right sides to try and ensure they were not caught by surprise but it would be fairly easy for the enemy to sneak around and flank them.

Chris shook the thought from her mind and continued eating. In the morning they would likely have to fight. She figured she had better get some sleep before then. With that in mind she finished eating quickly and headed for her tent.

On the opposite side of the field the commander of the Tinto forces sat in his tent reviewing their battle plans for the following day. He smiled as he looked at the map before him and reviewed the locations of the three armies that were to be involved in the upcoming battle, two of which were under his control. He laughed to himself as he thought about how easy it surprised the Zexen forces would be tomorrow when they found themselves out numbered nearly 3 to 1 and completely surrounded. He would catch them completely unaware and crush their forces including the Might Zexen knights who happened to be leading the forces.

That fact was a pleasant bonus. Not only would they wipe out a fairly large portion of the Zexen army in this attack but they would have the added bonus of killing the Mighty knights in their entirety including Zexen's greatest hero, The Silver Maiden. As he continued to review the map in front of him a messenger approached him. "Sir, I bring news from our allies in Harmonia. Their forces march un-noticed through the Grasslands towards our location and should arrive by morning." Said the messenger before bowing and walking away.

The man smiled as the messenger walked away and laughed lightly. "The Zexen forces will never know what hit them. Soon Harmonia's forces will arrive and attack from their rear while we attack from the front. We'll catch them in the middle and crush them like the dogs they are." Laughed the Commander. "And after we crush their forces we will march on Brass Castle with the combined forces of Holy Harmonia and Tinto. Zexen will fall before the might of The Republic of Tinto and I will become a hero as the one who lead us to victory."

Chris awoke the following morning to the trumpets from on of her scouts. In moments she was out of her bed and throwing on her armor. As she stepped out of her tent she was meet with the sign of the enemy rushing forward from the other side of the field and beginning to engage her front lines. Chris quickly mounted her horse and was about to lead her men forward into battle when she heard another trumpet ring out from their rear. Her eyes went wide as she spun her horse around to look in the direction the sound had come from.

To her horror she watched as thousands of troops marched in from their rear closing off any escape and essentially sandwiching them between the two armies. As she looked closer she was surprised yet again as she realized that the second army was not from Tinto at all but Holy Harmonia. "Behind us. Men to me." Chris screamed as she spun around and charged to the back of the camp to meet the second army. Even as she charged towards them with near 1000 men behind her another thousand fighting at her rear she knew that it was hopeless. They had to have at least 3 times as many men as she did and they were cornered.

Chris swung her sword skillfully as she fought off another Harmonian warrior. She spun around and parried a blow from a second warrior to her left before sticking her blade into his chest and pulling it out quickly to watch his body crumple to the ground dead. The battle had started less then 20 minutes ago and already they had lost probably half there numbers. Even though the enemy was loosing 2 men for every one they killed the Zexen's were still loosing. They simply didn't have the numbers.

They had been pushed back now and the camp was all but destroyed as their forces fought back to back with the enemies baring down on them, trying to crush them between the two forces. As she fought viciously her thoughts wandered to her fellow Mighty Knights and she felt a sadness fill her as the thought of their deaths and eventually hers filled her with despair. Finally her thoughts rested on another young man and her spirits lifted if only for a moment before she realized that she would never get the chance to see him again. She thought briefly about the young Karayan who had become quite dear to her over the past year and hoped he would be ok when he heard about her death. He had already lost one friend; she hated to cause him to loose another.

Chris continued to fight the loosing battle, killing the enemy right and left but as the battle waged on she felt her strength leaving her and she knew the end was near. A tear streamed down her face as the image of the boy popped into her head again and then it happened. A sword ducked under her guard and raked across her front causing a long shallow wound from just beneath her right breast to the far left side of her lower stomach.

Chris cried out in pain and in that instant had her sword knocked from her hands. A moment later she felt the bite of steal as the blade was plunged into her chest. She fell to the ground bleeding from both wounds and mouth. Her world swam before her and in the instant before she lost consciousness she thought she heard a loud screech and the sound of someone calling her name with panic in their voice. The blackness enveloped her and with her final breath she called out his name 'Hugo'. A moment later her world went silent.

Hugo arrived at his destination to the scene of a vicious battle waging below him. As Fubar raced towards the crest of a hill beside the battle Hugo caught sight of the person he was most concerned for just in time to see her take a blow and drop to the ground. His mind swam and he screamed out her name in fright as he watched the solider she had been fighting stab her through the chest. Hot tears streamed down her cheeks at the sight and an overwhelming rage filled him as Fubar screeched loudly. A second later they were on the ground and he was racing towards the battle with Fubar at his side.

In his right hand the True Fire rune began to glow brightly and in that instant he let out a heart stopping roar of anger to the battle field before him.

He shot his fist forward into the air and in that instant the sky began to darken. In moments the sky was shinning the color of flame as a hole opened in the clouds that swirled around the battle. A few seconds latter twin dragons made of fire and brimstone raced through the hole in the sky, their eyes set on those that would defy their master. They split up and raced forward strafing towards the enemy forces. The Tinto and Harmonian forces stared in horror as they realized who he was and the next thing he knew they were breaking. But it was too late.

Leo, Percival, and the rest of the Mighty Knights had all seen their captain fall to the enemy and had prepared to run to her aid but were stopped by the most horrible cry they had ever heard in all their days. One filled with unimaginable anger and pain. They had all turned in time to see a young man racing down the side of the hill to their flank and thrust his hand into the air.

What followed filled them with joy and horror all at the same time. The dragons that appeared from the sky seemed to burn with anger as they raced towards the unprepared Tinto and Harmonian warriors and in an instant the entire area on either side of the knights was ablaze with the sound of Flames and horrible screams of pain as the soldiers that had only seconds ago been fighting them burned to a crisp at the hands of the young warrior.

It had been in that instant that they realized it was Hugo, The Flame Champion who had arrived. The remaining forces had split ranks and were running for their lives while the remaining Zexen forces watched in mix of Horror and Awe as Hugo mercilessly destroyed the forces before him. In the end not one of the soldiers that attacked them survived and all that could be seen or smelt in every direction was the burnt ruins of fields, forests, and warriors.

Before they could snap out of their awed state Hugo was at her side and ripping open her armor, presumably to get at the wound. He frantically began to heal her chest wound with his Wind Ruin as he placed her head in his lap. It was at this moment that Percival decided to snap out of his own little world along with most of the other knights and slowly walked toward Hugo, afraid to startle him or anger him in any way. After seeing what he was like when angry none of them wanted to see him like that ever again.

A few minutes later Hugo sighed in relief as the last of her wounds disappeared. He removed his hand from chest and the next thing the knights knew he was slumped forward over her body and fast asleep. Percival stared in surprise for a moment and Boris was about to jump forward and beat the hell out of the little brat for daring to touch Lady Chris but Salem held him back while pointing out the facts. "Oh relax Boris. He's not doing anything to her except maybe keeping her warm. He's obviously asleep from using so much power." Said the wise knight as he steeped forward to check on the two sleeping forms before him.

"Alright it's time we get out of here and report back to Brass Castle. We don't know if they had reserves hidden around here somewhere. We can't afford to fight another battle in our current condition. We've lost more then half our numbers. Leo you take the Capitan, Percival you take Hugo. We need to get back and let the council know what happened." said Salem as he walked away. The rest of the knights did as they were told and gathered up their charges to prepare to leave. They took one last look around at the carnage before them and shuddered before leaving the place.

Hugo Slowly awoke from his slumber and looked around in a confused manner. It took him a few moments to realize that he was likely in Brass castle as his memories of the battle began to come back. He sat up and looked down at himself to realize that he was no longer clothed except for his undergarments and that he could not find his clothes anywhere. He had just got up to look for them when the door open and a young women no older then 20 walked in carrying a few towels, some linens for the bed and a freshly cleaned set of clothes which just so happened to be his.

He quickly realized that he didn't have any blankets covering him up and snatched them up from the bed to cover his lower half in a hurry as his checks grew slightly red. The sudden noise it seemed alerted the young women to his currently awoken state as she turned around and squeaked realizing that he was awake and standing up nearly naked with just the blankets covering his lower half. She blushed brightly as she ran her eyes up and down his body before turning away quickly and giggling slightly.

"Hello Mr. Flame Champion. My name is Rose and I'm currently assigned to be your chamber maid while you're staying at Brass Castle. I apologize for removing your clothes but I thought you would be more comfortable that way and I figured they could use a wash after your battle sir." Said Rose with a bright blush on her face after the mention of her being the one to remove his clothes.

Hugo stared in surprise as the girl giggled again and her blush brightened under his intense stare. Suddenly Hugo broke out laughing. "You don't have to call me the Flame Champion and you certainly don't have to call me Sir. Hugo is just fine" said Hugo as he continued to Chuckle to himself. The young women smiled brightly as she turned back to face him.

"Would you like me to prepare a bath for you Sir… I mean Hugo?" asked Rose as she continued to stare at him. Hugo nodded and replied. "Yes, that would be great thanks. By the way do you happen to know if Lady Chris has recovered as of yet?" asked Hugo as he threw the blankets onto the bed and walked over to the chair to pick up his pants and pulled them on. He opted to leave his shirt off until after the bath was done.

Rose shook her head. "Lady Chris is in perfect health Hugo but last I heard she was still resting in her room and is expected to wake up anytime now." said Rose as she walked into the bathroom and began to prepare a hot bath for him. A few minutes later she returned into the room and informed him that it was ready. "Thank you Rose. Well if you don't mind I'd like a little privacy." And with that he walked into the bathroom, removing his clothes he got into the bath and soaked his worries away.

A half hour later Hugo was dried off, refreshed as could be and fully dressed in his newly cleaned clothes and was walking down the halls of brass castle to where he knew Chris's room used to be the last time he was here. He rounded the corner on the top floor and approached the door that he knew was hers. Taking a deep breath he opened the door without thinking to knock first and walked in.

Chris was lying in bed, the blankets pulled him to her shoulders as a small beam of light flooded into the room and illuminated her face. Hugo slowly walked over to her bed and sat down on the edge. He stared at her face briefly before reaching out to brush a stray strand of hair off her face and behind her ear. She stirred slightly at his touch and then seemed to fall back to sleep.

Seeing her lying there like that was making Hugo's heart flutter. She looked so beautiful and peaceful when she slept. "How I would love to wake up beside your lovely face every morning" thought Hugo and then blushed at the implication. Hugo locked his eyes on her face and in that instant Lulu's words came back to him. He sighed and began to speak.

"Hey Chris. I hope you can forgive me for invading your privacy like this. I know you're real big on that stuff. There are so many things I wish I could talk to you about. That was sort of why I came looking for you in the first place. I'm just so confused Chris. I have so many new feelings floating around within me and I can't make heads or tails of them. I really was hoping that you could help me find my way through this but it seems that you have your own problems right now.

You know Chris when I saw you get struck down on the field was filled with rage and sorrow all at the same time. But it was different from when I saw Lulu killed. This was worst. I felt like a big part of me had died, like the world was suddenly empty and that it would never be full again. I think I know now what this strange feeling I have been experiencing recently is. In a way I'm glad you're asleep. I just don't think I could ever find the courage to say this to your face. At least not when you're awake."

"If you had told me a few years ago that I would have saved the life of the Captain of the Zexen knights or that I would have developed feelings for that same person I would have laughed in your face but yesterday when I landed on that hill and saw you cut down, I felt as if somebody had reached into my chest and ripped out my heart. I don't know what I would have done if you really had died. I can't stand the thought of loosing you." Said Hugo. "I think I've fallen in love with you Chris and while I know you could never return the feelings I just had to get the words out. They were just ripping me apart by keeping them bottled up." finished Hugo in a low voice.

"I want you to know Chris that I forgive you for what happened to Lulu. I know that you didn't mean to kill him and that if you could take it back that you would. I also know that you blame yourself for it everyday and let it eat you up inside. I don't want you to blame yourself anymore Chris. You don't have to carry that burden anymore. I hope you can find it within yourself to let it go and live your life to the fullest."

With that Hugo bent over and kissed her lightly on the forehead. "I hope you wake up soon. I'm glad everything turned out alright." Said Hugo. A moment later he stood up from the bed and walked towards the door. Had he turned around he would have noticed Chris's eyes shoot open in surprise followed by several tears rolling down her cheeks and finally a happy smile gracing her lips as she leaned back into the pillow.

She had heard it all. Everything from the moment that he had sat down to the moment he left and she felt amazing. Knowing that he had been truly worried about her, that seeing her hurt had been unbearable for him. Knowing that he truly forgave her for Lulu's death and wanted her to forgive herself. Knowing those things filled her with happiness as she realized that he had not only forgiven her but that he had grown to love her as well. Her own feelings swirled inside and she realized that she wasn't just flattered that he loved her but she was actually happy, excited even. She actually felt content and she realized that the feeling of loneliness and pain that she had felt before leaving brass castle for the battle was no longer present.

A few moments after Hugo left the room the door opened again and she saw Salem walk in followed closely by the rest of the Mighty Knights. Seeing them caused her to flash back to the battle the day before and suddenly she was extremely confused. "Salem… How… How are we still alive? We were surrounded, clearly outnumbered and more then half our numbers had been crushed when I fell. How could we have possibly made it out of there alive?" Asked Chris with confusion clearly written on her face.

The knights looked between each other and then back to Chris before Salem finally spoke. "Lady Chris the fact of the matter is we would have lost if it had not been for Hugo." Said Salem. In an instant Chris's look of confusion turned into one of shook. "What?" said Chris. "Lady Chris, Hugo arrived at the battle a few seconds before you were struck down. From what we understand he saw you struck down and fearing the worst he was thrown into a fit of rage. Using his true Fire rune he decimated the enemy forces and…" said Salem as he stopped at the end not wanting to tell her about the terrible act they had all witnessed.

Chris was shocked again. He had come alone. How had he known they were in danger? He had saved her and her men? I must know what else happened. "And what Salem?" asked Chris as she stared at him. Salem sighed and closed his eyes. He hated to be the one to tell her this. "While under the hold of his rage my lady he killed every last enemy solider. Burning them all alive. Ever as they surrendered or tried to flee he killed them. He gave no mercy. In the end he healed you before passing out from energy deprivation." Finished Salem with a solemn look on his face.

Chris couldn't believe it. He had been angry enough to seek vengeance on them all for her. They had begged him for mercy and tried to run but he had burned them down without a care in the world. His only thought was that they had killed her and he was angry. She was filled with a mix of happiness and disgust. On the one hand she was happy to know that he had cared for her so much and on the other hand she was disgusted that he had killed them all like that. But then had he not done so they would have killed them all. He had been protecting her friends and comrades just as much as he was her body. It was sweet.

Chris nodded to her knights before dismissing them and then proceeded to get ready for the day. She wanted to see him and talk to him about everything that had happened. She wanted to talk to him about what he had said in her room and she wanted to see if she could figure out the extent of her own feelings towards him.

As she relaxed in a warm bath her thoughts drifted over her own feelings and she began to analysis them one by one. It was true that she felt a weird tingling sensation through her body as he confessed himself to her earlier and she had felt truly happy to find out that he cared for as more then just a friend yet she was not sure if she actually loved him or if she just thought of him as a really good friend. As she thought on that her mind began to drift and she found herself wondering what it would be like to be held in his arms. To press her lips against his, to have him suck gently on her bottom lip before slipping his tongue into her mouth and dancing with hers for several long moments before pulling back out and continuing to work on her bottom lip. She moaned lightly and a moment later realized that she was very warm all over and that she suddenly felt quite aroused. She blushed profusely at the sudden direction of her thoughts. She stood up out of the water and proceeded to get ready for the day.

I can't believe I was just thinking of him like that. What the hell is wrong with me? A moment longer of that and I can't be sure I wouldn't of started to enjoy myself a little to much thought Chris as she finished dressing. She was just about to walk to the door when it opened to reveal Hugo standing there, his shirt open wide showing off his muscled stomach and chest and his rippled shoulders with a thin line of sweat running down his chest. She felt the warmth rise up within her again and before she could stop herself she licked her lips as if she had just seen the juiciest piece of meat in the world. The previous thoughts returned with a vengeance and she once again she found herself aroused.

Hugo walked across the room seemingly oblivious to the fact that Chris was staring at his naked chest and stomach and continuing to lick her lips as she tried desperately to hold her hormones at bay. "I'm glad to see you're up Chris. I was worried about you. Salem told me you had woken." said Hugo as he stopped in front of her. As it was Chris was loosing her battle of wills. She was trying to convince herself that it wouldn't be a problem if she took him right here and now as long as he wanted to do it too and of course being the Silver Maiden who wouldn't want to be with her. Hugo's words were not helping either. He had just told her that he was worried about her and that was such a turn on.

After fighting with herself for what seemed like hours but that was really only a few minutes Chris decided that since she couldn't win but also didn't want to rush things that she would settle for the next best thing. Looking up into his large turquoise orbs, her eyes sparkled with lust and she felt herself become lost within them. She barely registered the movement of her hand as she reached up and ran her hand through his hair.

Hugo jumped slightly when he felt Chris place her hand in his hair and begin to massage his scalp but calmed down almost immediately and leaned into her hand slightly out of instinct. He closed his eyes lightly and reveled in the feeling of her soft hand rubbing against his head and was surprised yet again when he felt her other hand cup his left check softly and rub the side of his face. Hugo basically melted in her hands. He was lost in the softness of her hands and the scent of her body. He opened his eyes slightly and realized she had moved closer.

Chris leaned forward and using her right hand which was tangled in Hugo's hair she pulled his head forward lightly until their lips were less then an inch away from each other and she could feel his hot breath on her lips. Her blood was racing and her heart was pounding. The heat had long since flooded her body and all she could think of was how badly she needed to be loved. It had been so long since she had truly been loved except for her butler. Sure she had friends, and they cared for her, but nobody really loved her. They all just looked at her as the Silver Maiden, nobody saw her as Chris Lightfellow. But Hugo did. He loved her for who she was and she needed that so badly.

In and instant she could take it no more. She closed the gap between the two of them and captured his lips with hers. For a moment he seemed to stand there in shock, not returning the kiss but a moment later she felt him begin to return it. She pushed out her tongue slightly and ran it across his lips requesting entry as her heart beat faster and all she could think of was she wanted, no needed more. His lips parted and their tongues meet in the middle fighting each other for dominance. She moaned loudly into his mouth and crossed her legs slightly to try and keep herself at bay. She wanted him so badly now it hurt.

Her hands roamed free over his back and shoulders and then up to his head and she tried to pull herself closer to him to lengthen the kiss. After nearly a minute Hugo pulled away gasping for air with a slightly glazed over look in his eyes and a smile on his face. Chris slowly began running butterfly kisses up and down Hugo's neck as he purred in excitement and it was at that moment that Salem decided to walk into the room. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Chris and then was surprised further as he heard her moan loudly once again when there lips meet once more.

Not wanting to see anything further he decided to make his presence known and so he cleared his throat loudly which immediately caught there attention. Chris was the first one to see Salem and immediately paled as she realized what she had been doing when he walked in. Thinking back quickly on what had happened over the last several minutes she suddenly felt her face flush with a bright blush and turned her head away from Salem.

Hugo on the other hand seemed to still be dazed and was staring blankly at Salem. Salem chuckled slightly and decided he would tease Chris a bit. "It was that good was it Hugo. You look like you just experienced heaven." laughed Salem. Chris immediately turned towards Hugo and seeing the look on his face couldn't help but feel a sense of pride that she had pleased him so well. A moment later she realized what Salem had said and turned on him.

"It's none of your damn business what I do with him or anybody else so back off Salem." Said Chris darkly before blushing profusely. Salem smiled. "Don't worry I won't tell anybody. It looked like you were enjoying yourself quite a lot though. Perhaps you should take it a little easier. From what I saw if it had gone much longer you two would have ended up in bed with each other for sure." Said Salem as he smiled again before turning around and heading for the door.

"Take your time Lady Chris, I'm sure you would like to continue thanking Hugo for his assistance. When you are free we need to travel to Vinay Del Zexay to report to the council and see what they would like to do." said Salem and with that he left. As Chris watched Salem leave the room she suddenly realized the seriousness of the situation she was in. She slowly turned around to meet his gaze and found him squirming uncomfortably before her as if he had done something wrong.

Hugo meet Chris's gaze for a brief moment and then quickly averted his eyes out of shame. He cursed himself for loosing control of his emotions so easily. She had just woke up and probably didn't even realize what she was doing and now that she did she was going to be pissed that he went along with it. "I, I'm sorry Lady Chris. I didn't mean to take advantage of you like that. I hope you can forgive me. I would hate to loose your friendship." Said Hugo as he looked back into her eyes.

Hugo mistook Chris's look of shock for disgust and felt his heart sink. She hates me now he thought. I should probably leave. It would be best if I left before she decides to attack me or something and this becomes a mess he thought and decided that was the best course of action. "I should go. I'm sorry." Said Hugo as he turned around and walked to the door and left heading for his own.

It took a few moments for Chris to clear her thoughts after the shock of realizing that Hugo thought he had taken advantage of her. The shame she had seen in his eyes tore her up inside and she had just wanted to reach out and pull him close but had been to shocked to even move. It was at that moment that Chris realized that Hugo was no longer in the room. Looking around She saw the door closing to the room and quickly ran through her memories of the last few moments cursing herself when she realized what he had said and what he must of thought at her obvious inability to speak or act.

Chris hurried towards the door and threw it open only to bump into Lewis who was coming to check on her. Lewis fell to the ground while Chris stumbled backwards before catching her balance. She looked down at her young squire and smiled briefly before remembering what she was running for. She looked right and left and realized that Hugo was nowhere to be seen. She felt like kicking herself for not stopping him when she had the chance. There was so much they had to talk about.

"I'm sorry Lewis. I was in a hurry. Did you see which way Hugo went?" asked Chris as she helped the young man to his feet. Lewis smiled and nodded his head. "Yes Lady Chris. I saw Sir Hugo heading into his room down the hall a moment ago. He mentioned returning to Karaya My Lady." Said Lewis. Chris's heart sank. She had to stop him. He must be crushed she thought as she remembered the way he had confessed his feelings for her when he thought she was asleep. And now he must think that I hate him. I'm such an idiot, all because of my shock. Damnit she swore to herself before turning back to Lewis.

"Lewis where is Hugo's room please? It's an emergency" she said. Lewis smiled and pointed down the hall to the far end. "His room is the second last room on the right after you round the corner My Lady." Said Lewis. Chris smiled and nodded her head before running down the hall. "Thank you Lewis." Called Chris over her shoulder. Chris rounded the corner a few moments later after running down the long hall and continued down the corridor until she reached the room she was looking for. Chris looked at the door for a moment and then nodded to herself before knocking.

Hugo looked towards the door and cursed his luck. He was sure that it was one of the knights or even worse, Chris herself. He walked towards the door, took a deep breath and then opened the door. He was surprised to find Chris's eyes shimmering slightly with a few unshed tears and even more surprised when she walked into the room, closing the door behind her before laying her hand gently on his check.

Surprised by Chris's actions Hugo took a step back to give himself some room. He was further surprised when she stepped forward to close the distance to what it was before and then stepped forward again to completely close the distance between them. He watched in shock as Chris wrapped her arms around his back, pulling him close and resting her head on his shoulder and sighing contently. Hesitantly Hugo reached out his arms and wrapped them around Chris and gave her a gentle squeeze which caused her to sigh contently again.

Chris looked up into Hugo's eyes and smiled. "I don't hate you Hugo and you didn't take advantage of me. If anything I took advantage of you or don't you remember that it was me that kissed you first when you walked into my room." Said Chris as she leaned forward slightly and kissed him lightly in the crock of his neck between the bottom of his neck and the start of his shoulder. She laughed slightly when she felt Hugo squirm in her arms and purr contently.

"Hugo, do you love me?" asked Chris with hope in her eyes as she looked up into his. Hugo's eyes snapped open in surprise and he tried to think of what to say. After a few moments he decided that honesty was the best policy and so he spoke. "To tell you the truth Chris I don't know exactly what my feelings for you are. I have never felt this way before about anyone and so I'm confused. I can tell you that you are very important to me. I wouldn't want anything to happen to you and I consider you more then just a friend." Said Hugo as he stared back at her with such intensity that she felt as if he could see into the very depths of her soul with his gaze.

"Hugo, why were you so angry when you saw me struck down in the battle?" asked Chris hoping to force him to realize his feelings. She could tell from the way he reacted to her that he loved her and if truth be told she had fairly strong feelings for him as well. A year ago she would have never thought that she would have been looking at Hugo in this fashion but now it seemed like the most normal thing in the world. In the last year she had grown closer to him each day they spent together and now she just felt comfortable with him in a way that she couldn't with anybody else.

Hugo looked at her with a questioning face for a moment before replying. "I thought they had killed you. You're important to me Chris and when I saw you hit the ground I thought I had lost you. I thought I had lost the women I loved and once again I had been to slow and weak to save the person I cared for. I was furious with myself and I was furious with them for doing it to you." said Hugo as he looked at the ground. Suddenly he realized what he had said and was surprised with himself. It had come so easily. He hadn't even thought about it. It had just come out as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

He had said he lover her and the more he thought about it the more true it seemed. His eyes glazed over and tears began to fall from his eyes as he thought about what he had done during the battle. "I killed them Chris, I can never forgive myself for the way I acted. I slaughtered them without mercy even when they begged me for forgiveness. How could I have been so heartless." Cried Hugo as he buried his head in her shoulder and clutched shirt her for dear life.

Chris slowly sat down on the edge of the bed with Hugo leaning against her. She gently rubbed his back and whispered softly in his ear to calm him. "Hugo, you can't blame yourself for this. We all do things in war that we regret but that is what war is all about. You loose yourself in the heat of battle weather it is out of instinct, fear, or anger and the results are never pretty. I don't blame you and I'm not disgusted with you. You saved us Hugo, if you hadn't done what you did we would have all died and I would have died with them. You saved my life and the life of my men and for that I will forever be grateful." Said Chris as she slowly began to rock back and forth.

"Hugo, I'd like the chance to explore our feelings for each other more and see where they lead us. I have to visit Venay Del Zexay to report to the council on the events of the skirmish yesterday and after that I imagine I'll have some leave time to recover from my injuries. Would you be interested in accompanying me on the trip? It would be a chance to spend some time together and get to know each other better." Said Chris as her eyes sparkled. Hugo thought about it for a moment before nodding. "Yes, I think I'd like that very much Chris." Said Hugo as he pulled away slightly.

Chris smiled brightly at the answer and Stood up. "Ok well we'll be leaving in a few hours so pack up some stuff and meet me at the west gates with Fubar." Said Chris as she turned happily and walked towards the door. A few feet from the door she turned around and smiled coyly at Hugo which made him squirm slightly. She walked seductively back towards Him and wrapped her arms around his neck.

"I can't very well leave without getting a goodbye kiss now can I?" said Chris with a smirk. Pulling him closer with her arms she leaned forward and tipping her head slightly she brushed her lips gently against his before deepening the kiss. Nearly a minute later she pulled away slowly with a slightly glazed over expression on her face and stepped away from the now wobbly Hugo. She looked at him over her shoulder as she walked towards the door and said "I could get used to that." And left the room.