Author's Note: It takes a while for this fic to build up, and hey, with these two, it can't be helped. This was slated to be a NC-17 fic, but I decided it feels complete as it is now. Also, my first romance fic – wow, way to drum up reader confidence eh?
She was humming the lullaby to them – her grandchildren, Cooke and Mack. Like their mother before then, and like Sarah to her before that.
Sarah sat between their two beds on a stool, having tucked them in each in turn. Mack's eyes were already heavy, and the lullaby and his grandmother's kind and gentle fingers stroking his hair would soon lull him into deep dreams. Cooke had curled up onto her side to face Sarah; her eyes were already closed but she was listening intently to the song.
Finally, the lullaby finished, Sarah arose from her seat quietly. She gave each of the children a soft kiss, giving them each a final tender gaze for the night, before she walked towards the doorway to their room.
Leaning in the arch of the door, silent but watchful throughout this time, stood Kaim. As his wife approached, he raised a hand to hers and guided her gently close to him.
"You can't tell what little devils they were this morning," he commented as they left the children's room behind them.
"Oh, children get into fights all the time. I just wished Cooke didn't set such a bad example for her brother," Sarah replied, looping her arm through her husband's.
"But you're as much to blame, Kaim."
Kaim paused and turned to face her, slightly confused, "Me?"
Sarah laughed lightly as his expression. She swept away that persistent loose strand of hair from his face (for the moment), "He wants to be so much like you…To be brave, strong, and invincible…"
His gaze met hers, and his voice softened from its usual gruffness.
"The boy has to know his limits."
"It's natural for a boy to believe he doesn't have any limits," she smiled as she sai that. She had managed to brush the hair to hook behind Kaim's ear, and her fingers lingered on its crest.
Kaim suddenly became acutely aware of their closeness. Sarah had pressed up to him while reaching for the strands and her fingers remaining at his ear gave her the excuse to stay close. Her eyes were yearning, behind the lenses, and he wanted to return that gaze fully. He wanted to draw her in an embrace, and return her caress with his own, tenderly and passionately…
He truly wished too…
But he had to stop this.
"It'll…it'll just get him killed," he said, somewhat hesitantly, turning away abruptly and breaking their gaze.
That obstinate strand fell back into place between his eyes.
He pulled away from her, walking just a bit more briskly; but her arm was till intertwined with his and he held her hand all the same. Even as he wanted to get away, he needed her near and beside him.
Left to wonder why, feeling a sense of rejection and uncertainty, Sarah could only unquestioningly follow him.
The air in the twilight was cold that night.
They had both gotten dressed for bed, but Sarah noticed that Kaim kept his eyes averted, seemingly both lost in troubled thoughts and intent on ignoring her. That thought hurt her more because she was unable to discern any reason why.
Even while she laid in her half of their bed, resting upright against the headboard with her journal open before her (though she was writing anything in it), Kaim sat at the edge on the opposite side, seemingly trying to keep as little of himself on the bed as possible. His back drooped, and his eyes were closed and downcast; his right hand covered his face entirely to keep out both her and her presence.
Sarah had had enough. She was used to Kaim's silence and detachment; she could read him as easily as her journal and that comforted her so greatly. She would know his intentions and his true feelings, even when he wasn't aware of them himself. Kaim depended on her to know and love him that way, even when it was his affection and passion for her he concealed as well.
But his attitude now, it was unfathomable and even…turbulent. It left her wanting and questioning; and there was the beginning of true anger building in her quiet frame.
Her husband didn't respond, still lost in whatever was running through his mind.
Her voice was stern, but it betrayed her concern. Kaim finally lifted his head up, daring for the moment to turn to see her, and his expression – saddened, almost apologetic – cooled her fury as much as it built her anxiety.
He had turned to face away from the bed again by the time she had placed her journal on the side table and moved across the breadth of the bed, winding her arms around him. Her face rested in the nook of his shoulder, her breath fell on the back of his neck. She pressed herself against his back and could feel the deep warmth that radiated from him that so few had felt. Her palms lying across his chest could feel his initial clutched breath that became hesitant as he breathed out, and a course of tension that ran through his entire body.
"Kaim, please…" Sarah whispered and pleaded into his ear.
He took another breath, and she could feel him leaning back towards her ever so slightly, tentatively.
When was the last time they had been this close? After they separated, after they lost their memories, after she was found and reunited…yes, there. She remembered his face so clearly, there was so much happiness and joy in his eyes…and she had as well found herself when they embraced.
But had he been detached like this since that moment?
"You don't remember me, do you," Kaim said quietly.
Sarah was surprised from her reverie; not quick enough to respond and Kaim continued.
"Everything, even that you love me…it's because it's written in your journals."
Was this the reason…?
"If it wasn't written, if my name wasn't in that book…I would be a stranger to you, wouldn't I?"
Did it hurt him so much to not be remembered? No, it wasn't like that. Kaim wasn't one to be so bothered…
She lifted her right hand to his face, cupping it gently under his chin and his left cheek, guiding his head up and to face her. She had to make him see her; she had to see his face to read him as well.
"I don't know why," she began, drawing herself even closer so that their faces were just shy of a breath apart, "Why is it that though you, and everyone else, could receive fragments of your pasts, I hardly did."
"There were sometimes little hints, tips of bigger memories hiding in my mind, but they never fully came back."
He was listening, intently yet almost dolefully. He didn't resist her guiding hand, and so Sarah let it drop lightly onto his neck.
"I had my journals, and though I could never remember the full details of the events and people they told me, I never felt that the things they recorded were alien, or strange."
Her fingers absentmindedly traced along Kaim's neck…
"I would re-read them, over and over, and feel them building up in my mind. Never detailed, but…I knew them. I knew they were true…"
She looked earnestly into Kaim's eyes then. She needed him to understand her fully right then.
"But I always had the feelings, Kaim," she told him resolutely, "When I read my journals, when I read about you, about us, about Lirum…I felt the feelings as true as I feel them now."
Her hand slid up and angled his face to fill their vision with only each other.
"I knew who you were the moment I saw you, Kaim, because the feelings were always there. I just needed to see you again."
She brushed against his lips with hers. Her hair was spilling over her face onto his, linking them and shielding them.
"You're not a stranger to me, Kaim."
She motioned the kiss as much as he did. It was novel and familiar all at once, comforting and refreshing. She felt his tension leaving him, felt him twist his body smoothly around to face her; his right arm rising and his hand – radiating so much heat – cupping her face tenderly and longingly.
Sarah finally took his right hand in hers, grasping it tightly as her left hand rubbed against the back of his neck. She slid it down his back slowly, sensually. Kaim arched from the sensation, his breath shuddered slightly. He pulled himself further up onto the bed, his height making him tower over his wife.
"…Your journals…were just words…" He said from her neck, where his lips had descended to, kissing and touching with unrestrained passion.
"My words…" Sarah cooed, enjoying her husband's attentions; feeling old passions kindling as he traced a familiar but long un-trodden path down her neck.
Her right palm pressed against his, her fingers spreading to link into his.
She began to draw back across the bed, taking him with her as he followed dutifully and intently.
"And I said you were brave…"
She leaned back onto the pillows, Kaim following her less than a hand's breadth away…
His right hand still firmly held hers, and vice versa, but his other arm came around her, encompassing her. Moving and fondling her lovingly and hungrily, letting his fingers trace from her neck to her shoulder, along her side (it made her quiver) and along her back, finally settling into a caress on her waist.
She couldn't speak, not anymore. Her free hand explored the true expanse of his back, marvelling at the tight and lean muscles running just beneath the surface of skin and cloth. His face was next to hers again; his kisses were raining along her shoulder and beyond, and she breathed in his scent, supping at his neck.
Kaim broke their interlinked hands to reach up and remove her glasses. They would just be in the way, and there was no need to see for this. Sarah's newly freed hand immediately travelled to the front of his chest, fiddling with the first few buttons. The other snaked up to wind itself through his hair, grasping and caressing fervently.
He dropped the glasses on the table-top, on her journal, searched absentmindedly for a few moments for the knob on the lamp, and plunged the room into a sweltering and burning darkness.