Show: Roar

Title: They Fell

Summary: There was an accident. A long one-shot story of true love.

Disclaimer: I don't own 'Roar' but who wouldn't love to!?

The group moved in silence through the shadows. The forest would end up ahead, the ocean bluffs providing no sanctuary.

The blonde island prince rode beside a covered cart. His large sword was hanging off his horse, near his strong hand. His sensual brown eyes focused on the mahogany horses in front of his. Fergus coughed somewhere behind him, the champion of his father was nervous. They all were. Tully and Molly were on the other side of the cart, he could hear their whispers now and then.

But he knew these companions of his could protect themselves. She could too. He knew that. Yet still his eyes never left her horses, pulling the wagon and leading the procession. Her blonde hair was pulled in two loose braids. He wanted to reach out, pull free the ties. Run his battle scarred hands through her silken locks. Conor sighed, shaking his head. What would she do, if she knew the way she haunted his thoughts? He could only imagine.

Catlin. He had never realized how much she meant to him until the day the Romans captured them. When he found out she was believed in the Roman Christ. The night they tortured her to get information from him. Her screams haunted his nightmares. Her dry sobs. He would never forget the way it felt when she let him hold her after she awoke, and found that the Romans had blinded her. The way she looked when the first thing she saw was his face when she was granted her sight back. The perfect smile she gave him when he brought her the bouquet of wild flowers.

He hadn't felt this way since Claire was killed. He would never forget her, and Catlin hadn't replaced her. But she had helped to heal him. He knew he could carry on. He had a new reason to live. She had made him feel things that he hadn't felt for what seemed like an eternity. But this was different. This was unrequited love. And it was killing him. When he had had to pretend to be in love with Molly, it had almost broken him. Knowing that she didn't care, that she was happy for him.(2)

Conor let out a quiet growl. This train of thought wasn't getting him anywhere. He had to concentrate. In order to bring the powerful Kinkaid clan into the Alliance they had agreed to a mission. It was simple. The tribe's leader had two daughters. One fifteen, and one three. The Romans had taken them captive and kept them in a moving caravan. Conor had to get the girls without killing in front of them. They had to be with their father by the next sunrise. Conor still had five hours. But the Romans were on their heels. They had already had to kill two scouts who got too close.

The girls were well behaved and confident in their father. They had total trust in the people he had sent, so Conor had no trouble convincing them to stay quietly inside the wagon.

An owl hooted somewhere above, five pairs of eyes immediately watching the trees. Fergus pulled his horse alongside Conor's.

"Quiet night." The young prince ventured.

"Aye." Came the gruff reply.

"How much further do you think?"

"About three hours before we're close enough to be met by Kinkaid's scouts."

"Hm."

"I don't like this Conor. We haven't heard another human voice in two hours. The Romans wouldn't lose that easily."

"Maybe the gods are watching us."

"Maybe."

The sea cliffs dropped away abruptly ahead of them. They would go along the coast woods for the last leg of the journey.

They were so close. Only a few more minutes and they would be within sight of the scouts. Within the sight of a sanctuary. There were now cliffs ahead of them as well. They would have to head inland.

The rest happened so quickly, when asked, the others found it had to describe. Out of nowhere an arrow buried itself in the back of the wagon. A shout came from behind them. The startled cart horses screamed.

"Catlin!" Conor shouted, digging his heels into his horse, trying to catch the out of control wagon. Catlin's face appeared from the side of the cart.

"Conor! Get the girls! I can't stop the horses!"

"Cat!"

"Conor! Get them out!"

Conor swore loudly, allowing his horse to pull back to the cart rear.

"Arabell!"

The startled teenager's head appeared through the canvas folds. Conor could hear Fergus, Tully, and Molly fighting the Romans behind him.

"Jump onto my horse!"

"My sister!"

"Jump!"

She complied quickly. He grabbed her arm and helped her swing onto his horse.

"Hold on!"

He caught back up with the wagon again. The cliff was growing so close. So real.

"Daelanie!"

The small child did not appear.

"Daelanie!" Arabel was growing hysterical behind him.

He had lost sight of Catlin. Had she jumped? Was she there?

Suddenly the horses turned, fleeing away from the cart, their harnesses cut. Catlin had cut them loose, lest they be dragged over with the cart.

The front wheels were over the edge when the flap opened. Catlin stood there, cradling the small Daelanie.

"Conor!"

She threw the child, Conor had to let go of the reigns and stand in the stirrups to catch the screaming toddler.

Her face was pale, her eyes large and startled. She reached out one arm, her fingers almost brushed his.

"CONOR!"

Then the cart was gone. She was gone.

"NO! CATLIN!" Conor yanked on the reigns, stopping his charger right in front of the precipice. There was wood floating in the water, the canvas cover was draped over a rock. His beautiful blonde love was gone. He leapt off his horse, his knees giving out. As if from a great distance he watched Arabel shush Daelanie, despite the tears running down her own face. Fergus ran over, Tully leaning heavily on Molly from a wound on one leg. Fergus asking what happened, Molly asking, voice laced with dread where Catlin was. Tully and she dropping to their knees beside him. Fergus leaning as far as he dared over the sheer drop, eyes searching, roaring Catlin's name down to the dark waves.

He was numb.

The group had to keep moving. There was no point waiting and loosing the Alliance after Catlin's sacrifice. They were silent. When the scouts found them Conor hung back, letting Arabel talk to them. Allowing them to lead the bedraggled group toward the Kinkaid village.

Daraien walked down the beach, watching the waves. His long, silver hair pulled into a tight braid. He was strong for his age, never truly loosing the power he possessed as Kinkaid's champion. He had long since forsaken the settlement though, preferring to live isolated. After his wife died he had never liked people. They grated on the nerves she had left unprotected in her absence.

His steel blue eyes focused on what appeared to be a wheel, floating just beyond the waves. What was a wheel doing out there? His eyes turned to the cliff that protected this small cove. There was nothing there. Except...it looked like a white fabric was draped over one of the rocks, and more driftwood floating. And...hair!

He splashed in up to his knees, eyes searching. There! Out by the fabric covered rock there was a large protruding boulder. Up over the peak was a cascade of blonde hair! He began to run, racing down the beach. He climbed up onto the closest rock, leaping from one to another until he was out almost to the canvassed boulder. He used to do this as part of his training. To promote balance and agility he would go out to the farthest rock, then race the current back in. Fighting his father over the rocks, first one wet looses. He had only won twice.

He could see her now. Attached to the hair was a tanned young woman. Her eyes were closed and she wasn't breathing as far as he could see. How the hell did she end up there? He finally reached her, picking her up without pausing, he was shocked at how light she was. Quickly he spirited her back to shore. He put her down on the sand, feeling for a pulse.

There! Terrifyingly slow and weak, but there! He pumped her chest, breathing air into her lungs. Again. And again. Until, she coughed, throwing up water, tears streaming from her pale moonlit eyes as she gasped for air.

"Conor."

It was the first thing she said.

"I don't know where he is lass."

She gasped, looking up at him. She attempted to stand up, grabbed her head, and fell.

"Wouldn't do that. There's no point in running, I won't chase you. I didn't save you to be treated like an enemy. Besides," he flashed her a grin and passed her a water skin, "I doubt you'd get very far."

Conor prowled the empty streets. It had been two days. He couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep. He couldn't live without her. Tully and Molly took comfort in each other. Fergus trained relentlessly, and didn't say much. Kinkaid had been sorry for their loss and had thanked them by joining the Alliance. He was allowing them to stay as long as they needed.

Conor had made a vow the day Catlin died. He would never look at another woman again. He would distance himself from everything. Everyone just died anyway.

He knew he wasn't mourning right. By this time after Claire died he had cried, praying for her soul. But now that Catlin was gone he wasn't doing anything. He only felt anger. He was angry at his gods. He was angry at Kinkaid. He was angry at Catlin's Christ. He was even angry at Catlin herself. But he was even angrier at himself. It was his fault. He knew it and he knew everyone else knew it. He had killed both the women he had ever loved.

It had been easier to accept Claire's passing. He had buried her, killed her true murderer. But with Catlin, there was no one to hurt. No body to bury. Nothing to prove she was really gone. Except his haunting memories.

Her face was pale, her eyes large and startled. She reached out one arm, her fingers almost brushed his.

"CONOR!"

Then the cart was gone. She was gone.

"I loved you."He whispered to the dark sky.

He felt the Roar well up inside, filling him with power.

"I LOVED YOU!"

The large wooden gates swung open, a lone figure on an old white battle horse trudged through. He was strong, his silver hair tied back. His harsh blue eyes surveying the bustling town.

Molly, Tully, and Fergus were in a corner, sitting on a few barrels. Near them a stall owner was selling medications and gauze.

"Daraien! You old hermit, what are you doing here? Did the cart that goes out to your house forget something?"

The new arrival smiled, grabbing the hand of the man across the stall, shaking it heartily.

"No Methus. I need some herbs to numb cuts. I also need some gauze and calming syrum."

The seller slowly began to gather the items, enjoying the other man's company.

"Why? That's expensive stuff to waste on a horse."

The man called Daraien smiled.

"Not a horse this time my friend. A girl."

At this Methus turned, surprised.

"Really?"

"Yeah. I found her on the beach, along with canvas and wood. I think she was shipwrecked on the rocks. Must have been a small vessel though."

Methus' eyes widened and he leaned forward secretively.

"A runaway?"

Daraien also leaned forward.

Tully, Molly, and Fergus strained to hear, intrigued.

"I have a theory. When I revived her she said a man's name. It was all she said before trying to run from me. She was weak and soon after passed out again. Just to be safe I drugged the soup I managed to get her to eat. I didn't want to leave her alone and awake out there. She would try to run, would just get lost, and probably die."

Methus nodded.

"Good of you."

"I think she and the man were forbidden to be together. Slaves possibly. They tried to run but didn't have enough food or water or something. They lost control of their boat in the currents and were dashed on the rocks. She was alone when I found her, no one else in sight. I think her lover must have drowned."

Molly sighed slightly, compassionate for this doomed love.

Methus shook his head.

"Poor thing. When she's well enough bring her into town, she might want to stay. It will be good for her to be with people."

Daraien nodded thoughtfully.

"Here."

The merchant passed over the gauze and other medications.

"How much?"

"I'll only charge you half. I would give it to you for free after a story like that, but I have a family to feed."

The warrior nodded and passed over the coins.

Conor walked towards his companions, bumping into a silver haired man.

"Sorry." He mumbled.

The man shook his head at the merchant he was buying from. "Pups."

After a few words, Tully, Molly, and Fergus got up and followed Conor toward Kinkaid's home. Kinkaid had asked to see them to finish talking about the Alliance.

Daraien watched the group walk away. He hadn't seen them before, but the blonde one who had run into him seemed familiar. Like he was someone Daraien should know.

"By the way, what was the name?"

"What?"

Daraien turned back to his old friend.

"The name the shipwrecked girl said. Just in case I hear anything."

"Oh, it was Conor."

Methus shook his head.

"I don't think I know of any Conors who've been shipwrecked."

"Well, I'll be back with her soon."

"Gods bless you."

"And you."

With that, Daraien mounted his stallion, riding out of the open gates.

Daraien pulled open the heavy wooden door. The castaway was still resting, her face relaxed in healing sleep. He quickly opened his satchel. It would be easier to dress her cuts when she was asleep. He didn't know yet if she was violent or not.

The rock she had washed up on was covered in limpets and muscles, their shells and ripped the skin on her back and arms. She had splinters in her arms and her legs, and her hands were bloody, her nails bleeding underneath from pulling herself onto the uneven rock surface. Her face was unmarred though. It was a beautiful face. He was far too old to find her attractive on almost every level, but her slight build and the way she had looked when she had called for Conor, it awoke a fatherly desire to protect her. Find this Conor and make sure he treated her right, if he was alive.

How would he tell her? 'Hello lass. I saved your life when your boat crashed, but you true love is decaying under the sea. Want to come to town? Some people there would like to meet you.'

Daraien sighed. He was killer with a sword, unbeatable with an arrow, and formidable in hand-to-hand combat, but being compassionate, comforting someone, he was bad at that. Just plain bad. Maybe he should bring her to town before she wakes up. His wife had been very popular, he would be able to find one of the village grandmothers to watch her and help her as she healed.

But there were so many people. Did she really want to have to deal with their questions? So soon after she found out she was alone?

Absentmindedly, Daraien realized he was bandaging her where he had already bandaged her. He needed to concentrate. Her face screwed up, catching his eye. She moved her head slightly, smiling.

"Conor."

She whispered softly.

"Conor."

He was standing on the cliff. Catlin was in front of him. Yet, he knew she was dead. He could feel the unshed tears burning his eyes. She smiled at him, reaching out a pale hand to touch his face.

Then the ground underneath her gave way, just as he felt the warmth of her fingers a hair's breadth from his cheek. She reached out to him in desperation, her eyes full of terror. He jumped after her, and they fell together, wrapped in each other's arms. They hit the water, and were ripped apart.

Conor was standing on the shore. The man from the marketplace was leaning over Catlin's still form. He leant down, putting his lips on hers. Conor was blinded by rage, he drew his sword and, yelling her name, drove the sword through the man touching Catlin's fair lips.

But the man didn't seem to feel a thing. He lifted Catlin's immobile form into his arms. Conor sheathed his sword, he couldn't stab the man again for fear of hitting Cat. He yelled, stood in his way, threatened the man, and tried to take Catlin from his arms, but he kept walking, oblivious to the distraught young man.

Through the trees appeared a house. It was large and well built. Underneath the trees three horses were tethered, grazing. The man walked straight through Conor, the door opened for him and he took Catlin inside.

Conor sat at her bedside. Just watching her breath. Then...

Conor sat up in bed, his body drenched in sweat. He had that dream again. Fergus was making him stay in bed, forcing him to eat. But the dream still haunted him. It was the same each time, going a little farther each night. He grabbed the sheets tightly. He could still feel the tingle he got in his chest when she was near. It was so real.

In a few nights the dream included Conor pacing her room, waiting as the man slowly nursed Cat back to health. At one point after she awoke, she and the man had a long conversation. Catlin kept shaking her head, eyes filled with tears. Conor had raced to her bedside, yelling at the man, telling him he was upsetting her. He had reached out, trying to dry her tears, but his hand had gone through her like she wasn't even there.

It was the day of their good-bye feast, that also coincided with the spring fair.

It was three weeks since Catlin had been ripped from them.

Three weeks since Conor had smiled.

Three weeks since Fergus had laughed.

Three weeks since Molly had gone a day without crying on Tully's shoulder.

Three weeks since Tully had been able to look at a bow and arrow without slipping into memories.

The group had decided it was time. They were going home. They had to tell everyone. Had to perform the ritual prayers with everyone who had loved her. She had been well-loved, the mourning would last long back at the Sanctuary.

Kinkaid had gone all out for the feast/spring festival. All the clan was gathered to say farewell to the famous Prince Conor and celebrate the dawn of the new life spring brought. Conor sighed, staring at his plate. He couldn't stop thinking of her smile.

After she had awoken it had taken Catlin the past weeks to regain any physical strength. She had slowly told Daraien her story. About her slave life and her fight against the Romans. About Conor. Once she realized he was already convinced she loved him, she had actually admitted it. When she had found out Conor was with Kinkaid, he actually had to pick her up to stop her from running to the horses.

"You're in no state to chase true love lass."

"But-"

"He thinks you're dead."

"Aye, but-"

"So if you ride in he'll be scared out of his mind. We're a society that thrives off superstitions."

"So what do you think I should do?"

Daraien smiled.

"The day of my wedding, my wife arrived in the most extraordinary way..."

"You ready lass?"

"Yes."

Daraien turned toward the door as Catlin emerged. He had picked flowers for her and brought her soap; she had washed and braided the flowers into her hair. She was radiant, wearing one of his wife's old dresses with a few adjustments. It was simple, falling almost to the ground in a gentle wave of light fabric. The pale blue brought out her eyes, and the tight bodice proved she was a woman in every way.

They would ride up to the gate, Daraien would call out, telling them he had found something Conor might want to see. Then the gates would open, to reveal Catlin, the vision of ethereal beauty riding a snowy mare into her beloved's arms.

Darien helped the maiden mount sidesaddle onto the white mare. He leapt up onto his old charger, and the two set off. The rode in silence, Catlin running through different scenarios in her mind.

They were halfway to the village when they heard the call of a man. He was yelling for someone to double step, move faster. Daraien gestured for Catlin to be silent. She nodded, moving to dismount. Daraien reached over and grasped her wrist, shaking his head. She was in no position to do anything unarmed and dressed the way she was. Catlin rolled her eyes, but nodded gruffly, taking the reigns to Daraien's mount.

Daraien crept forward, gazing through the foliage down a steep hill, where half a Roman regiment was on the march. Headed for the clan. Fully prepared for a battle. The other half might already be there by now, or this could be it. He didn't know.

He turned silently, whispering to Catlin what he had seen.

"We need to ride, warn them!"

"Aye. Put this on." Daraien tossed her his thick black cloak.

Noticing the questioning look in her eyes, he smiled at her, eyes twinkling.

"Once your Prince sees you, I doubt even the Roman Emperor will be able to get his attention. The last thing we need is head addled by you, lass."

Catlin blushed deeply, and slung the cloak over her shoulders, pulling up the hood.

"We'll cut through the woods and ride along the beach, the sound of the surf will hide any noise."

The two horses turned, silently slipping away from the Roman scouts.

The strong gates were flung open, allowing people to come and go from the countryside to the festival, games were taking place outside the safety of the walls. The two horses raced through the throngs, two voices calling for everyone to get inside. Conor sat up, staring hard at the rider on the left. It was the man from the marketplace, the man from his dreams! Once inside the gates the riders separated. The cloaked rider spurred it's white mare up the outer staircase to the ramparts, leaning down and catching up a bow and quiver as it went past.

"King!," Daraien called, drawing all attention, "The Romans are on the march! They will crash upon this place like a wave on the shore! You haven't much time!"

Conor's eyes never left the cloaked figure, even though it was looking out at the countryside, hiding it's face from him. Somehow so familiar...

"Protect the princesses! Get the children to the safe house!" Kinkaid bellowed out orders, his people racing to obey.

Conor felt someone shift behind him. Suddenly a blade was pressed against his throat. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the brand, the sign of alliance to Longinus.

"Everyone stop!"

The man who had him had a companion who was holding a drawn bow to Kinkaid's temple.

"You're just gonna wait where you are until the Romans march through that open gate."

Conor watched the cloaked figure slowly steer their horse around. The black cloak moved slightly, showing two shoes. They were riding sidesaddle? Conor watched the hooded head shift slightly towards the bow wielder. He understood.

He was the only one anticipating the arrow. It buried itself in the forehead of the bowman, he never had time to release the arrow before his dead fingers tangled in it, drawing it from the string as he fell. His companion lost concentration for a second, but it was all Conor needed to grab his arm, flipping him onto the table. A sickening snap echoed as Conor broke his arm with the sheer force of the blow.

Kinkaid pulled of his brown cloak, dropping it over the dead man's face, as two warriors took the other traitor to be dealt with privately.

"Keep moving! Prepare for battle!"

The clan moved as one as Conor located Tull and Molly, Fergus meeting them quickly after. In a few minutes the women and children who did not fight had disappeared completely. Gone into hiding for the fight.

Kinkaid gestured them to follow him up to the two riders who had warned them. The Roman troops were just little dots on the horizon as the heavy gates swung shut and were secured.

"Daraien. It has been quite a while. You came just in time."

The man smiled at them from his position on horseback.

"A pleasure as always to save your hide Kinkaid."

"Conor, Molly, Tully, Fergus, meet Daraien, he was the strongest champion this clan has ever seen. Daraien, this is Prince Conor, his champion Fergus, Fergus' daughter Molly, and Tully."

They nodded at each other solemnly.

"I heard you were tending a girl you found."

The group looked up, hope in their eyes.

"Um, yes. Found her on the beach, shipwrecked. She was...sick. I couldn't save her."

The hope died. Only Conor continued to look upon at the silent cloaked figure a small way away. He tried to look through the cloak, feeling something was slightly off.

Kinkaid also seemed to suddenly notice the other rider.

"Ah. Who is you companion me friend?"

The hood moved slightly, listening.

"Don't truly know myself. It was he who killed the man who threatened you. A passerby who stumbled on my home, preformed the last rites of the shipwrecked girl. Doesn't talk much though. He was disfigured in an accident, keeps his face hidden because of it."

He. His face. Conor continued to stare at the 'disfigured lad'. Why would a boy ride sidesaddle? Something wasn't right.

"Come Conor. This is a perfect chance to prove what an asset we will be to the Alliance. I want you to see our other fortifications."

Reluctantly, Conor allowed himself to be led away.

Catlin let out a long sigh. It was like he had known, never taking his eyes off her.

"That was close."

Daraien sidled his horse near hers.

"Stay close, lass. If you die now he'll kill me."

The Romans never expected it. Longinus had been told that his troops would meet a group of inebriated savages, too drunk to stand. So he had sent his newest troops, as part of their training. Underestimating the tribe, he sent only half the regiment.

The troop marched foolishly straight up to the gates, the place looked deserted. Not a sound came from within. Two soldiers moved forward, trying the gates. As soon as their hands touched to wood, a rain of arrows and spears, even rocks came down on the troops. Most of them were killed instantly.

Then the gates opened. Kinkaid, Conor, Fergus, Tully, Molly, and Daraien led the cascade of armed warriors. The cloaked figure stayed on the ramparts, leading the bowmen in taking down the enemy.

Conor threw himself onto the enemy, blaming each one of them for Catlin's death. It was Rome's fault. Rome would pay. The warriors were well matched, they had more skill, but the Romans had power in numbers. Conor was often fighting three at once, and he was quickly tiring. An arrow came from nowhere. Deftly it lodged itself in the back of a Roman's neck. The next flew to a leg. The third went straight through a sword arm. The final two pierced two different men through an eye.

Conor let his sword drop. He turned, searching the walls. The cloaked figure still sat on horseback, quiver empty, watching him. The hood blew in the wind, giving him a glimpse of a face. But it was not disfigured. It almost looked like...

The figure turned, taking another quiver one of the other men held out for it. Conor surveyed the battlefield. It was littered with Roman corpses. No clan members had died. Kinkaid was bleeding from the leg and Daraien was nursing a badly gouged shoulder.

The white horse galloped out of the gates, the rider keeping their head down to keep the hood on. The horse came to a halt by Daraien, the rider reaching down to his shoulder. They seemed to have a brief conversation, then the white rider turned again. When it emerged again it was leading to other horses pulling a wagon. The archers jumped from the cart, and began to put the wounded in it to be transported to the healers.

Another cart was led out soon after, and the healthiest men began to strip and load the Roman bodies. They took any useful weapons and armour to be melted down into tools, and all the money was also collected. Conor noticed Fergus and Daraien deep in conversation. Tully was holding Molly close. Dully he turned from them, and noticed the cloaked figure watching him. Then it turned, steering it's horse toward the coastline.

Daraien walked up behind him, leading a chestnut stallion.

"Well Prince. You'd best go fetch him. There's no telling where he'll wander off too."

"Isn't that 'his' decision?"

"Depends on how badly you want to know."

Conor turned, staring at the older man. Daraien's blue eyes stared back, then he thrust out the reigns.

"You should really want to know lad."

Conor took the reign uncertainly.

"Go. She'll slip away again."

Conor mounted the horse.

"Wait, she?"

Daraien smiled and hit the horse's flanks with the flat side of his sword.

"Ride, Conor!"

Catlin quickly dismounted, tethering the horse to a low branch. The sun was just beginning to tint the sky a beautiful shade of magenta. She didn't know why she was so afraid to tell him. She just suddenly couldn't do it. She was watching him fight, he had been so full of anger. Then after he was so full of pain. She was worried when she told him he might...she didn't know what he might do.

She wrapped the cloak around her, keeping the hood up. She was shivering. Two strong arms wrapped around her, pulling her tightly against a broad muscled chest. Though the fabric of the cloak she felt a pair of lips graze her ear. She shivered even more as the hot breath washed over her skin.

"Are you cold?"

She gasped his name in shock as her eyes snapped open.

"Conor."

His arms tightened around her as she struggled to get free.

"Catlin."

When he said her name she froze. She hated the way his voice made her stomach knot. The way one word from him could turn her body traitor, as it was now.

"I-"

He stopped, resting his read on hers. She couldn't fathom the tone of his voice.

"I must be dreaming."

Disappointment. Sadness and pain. All echoed in his words.

"You died. You were falling, and I-"

He took a steadying breath.

"I couldn't save you."

His arms fell from her. Instantly she missed their safety and warmth. She turned, pulling on the cloak strings. She watched his eyes as the hood fell away, crumpling in to a pool of fabric around her feet. The way his hungry chocolate eyes followed her every move made her skin tingle. His eyes devoured her, caressing her without touch. He reached out one trembling hand, taking a lock of her hair between fingers. He stepped forward, their bodies a breath away.

"You always were a fallen angel. I always feared the gods would demand you back."

His eyes were studying her face, memorizing every detail. Catlin closed her eyes, basking in his closeness. His breathing slowed then stopped. Slowly she felt his lips gently brush across hers. Her eyes snapped open, then, as his gentle ministration continued, she closed them again, her arms going around his neck, one hand burying itself in his soft hair. One of his hands was on her waist, the other on her lower back, pulling her closer into him.

He pulled back long enough to whisper her name, then he deepened the kiss. She moaned, granting him access to her mouth. Their tongues danced, each loving the others taste.

He moved his arms, picking her up and twirling around. She pulled back from the mind-blowing kiss long enough to laugh down at him. He smiled up at her, beginning to laugh himself. He put her down, pushing some of her hair from her face. Cupping her cheek, his eyes clouded.

"I was so worried Cat."

She averted her eyes from his, turning to look out at the surf, speaking softly.

"I know. I was scared too. I woke up on this beach, a stranger holding me, unable to walk. I thought you had died. When Daraien said you were still alive. Told me how close you were. It killed me not being strong enough to ride to you."

"Back at the battle, why all the deception?"

"Dar-Daraien said I should hide my identity. He warned that if you and the others saw me you wouldn't have enough time to prepare for battle. He was worried everyone would be so happy about my return we wouldn't be able to warn you. It wasn't the right time..."

Her voice had grown to a whisper. She saw now how pathetic it sounded.

"I wasn't sure you would want to see me."

She said it so quietly she was certain he hadn't heard.

"Catlin. When your Amaliea possessed you, do you remember what I said?"

"You said that we were a family. That you all loved me."

She heard him move closer, his hands resting on her upper arms.

"And?"

"And you said you loved me."

She whispered it.

"Do I lie Catlin?"

"No!"

"Have I given you any reason not to trust me?"

"No."

"Have I ever betrayed you?"

"No."

"So why don't you believe me?"

Her breath caught in her throat. Slowly she turned, looking up into his sincere gaze. His lilting voice was quiet and he lent close to her.

"I Love you. I thought lost everything with that wagon."

She reached up, wrapping her arms back around his neck.

"I love you too Conor."

He put his arm tightly around her.

"It doesn't matter if you do or you don't. I'm never letting go of you again."

She smiled as his lips covered hers.

"I'm not going anywhere."

(1) Episode 6, 'Red Boot'.

(2) Episode 12 (?), 'The Cage'

I really like it. I know it's long, so sue me. Actually, please don't! REVIEW!

Gone Crazy and Staying There,

Wolfy101