Title: Five Secrets Elena Samuelle Never Kept
Series: One Line companion
Author: Vashti
Characters: Elena Samuelle, Michael Samuelle, Adam Samuelle, Simone, Madeline
Rating: PG – PG-13
Summary: Elena is an open and honest woman, hiding nothing.
Length: ~5,450 words total
Spoiler: entire series
Disclaimer: I don't know you, you don't know me. Let's keep it that way.
Feedback: it's like air.
Author's Note: These stories are not interrelated, but, as I found out when this was first posted on the lfn_fanfiction livejournal community, they can be read together. In the spirit of the 5 Things challenge, the are all also AU.

Five Secrets Elena Samuelle Never Kept
by Vashti

A One Line Series companion story.

1. I Know I Don't Know You

Elena is a content woman. She has a beautiful husband, a lovely and precocious child and a house that was better than the one she had dreamed of when she was Adam's age.

As her mother frequently points out, it hardly matters that Michael doesn't love her. It scarcely makes a difference that touching him is like touching a wall – that taking his arm when they go out is like being on the arm of a mannequin. It feels as unreal.

Sometimes she wonders if it had ever really been different—if there had been a time when there was fire in his eyes and not ice. Calculation.

She wonders if he ever used to hide this from her. She wonders if she had merely been blinded by his loveliness, by his gallant manner and by the way he shunned all others to give her his attention. He is, after all, still lovely, still gallant. And he still gives her the impression of focusing all of himself on her when she speaks. It's just every other time…

And he's not inconsiderate.

And she only wonders sometimes.

It's Adam she worries about. Elena knows what it is to grow up without a father. How much harder must it be for a boy?

It disturbs her, watching them together. She had hoped that having a child, particularly a son, would bring them closer. Barring that, that it would bring Michael some joy. Barring that, that it would bring him some life. It seemed to do none of those things.

Even as an infant Adam had been unnaturally still around his father. She remembers waking up in her hospital bed, tense and alarmed, convinced with a new mother's panic that something horrible had happened to her newborn. But he had been fine, cradled in the arms of his father. And so quiet. So still. He did none of the fist waving he had done for her or his nurse or his grandmother. He had been so still, in fact, that Elena had thought he was sleeping – though there had been a flickering worry that the infant Adam was dead.

She remembers how her shifting to sit up had attracted Michael's attention. How she had caught a flash of her son's dark eyes as Michael turned and brought him to her. The clock on the wall had been loud as he'd handed the infant to her and kissed her forehead. "He's beautiful," he had whispered into her ear before he'd kissed her cheek and left the room. When she'd looked down, she had found Adam staring at the door.

Which is how she usually finds him when Michael is home: quiet, still and staring at his father. It's probably a good thing that Michael is away so often. Elena scarcely recognizes her bright and boisterous boy when he is home.

And it's so much easier to pretend to be the happy wife, mother and homemaker when Michael is away. Easier to believe that it's true.

Sometimes, though, she amuses herself with the belief that someone out there is making him happy. That the affair Michael is having is more fulfilling than the life they have attempted to create together. She loves him. And she wants him to be happy – the way their son makes her happy.

One of them deserves to be really, completely, happy

But somehow she knows he's faithful, though she doesn't understand why. She understands her own reasoning: no one else fills a room like Michael. No one else steals her breath when they look at her. No one else does more for her or tries to please her the way Michael does. No one else looks out at her from her son's eyes.

So he doesn't love her. Michael makes no demands she can't meet. He gives her everything she asks for within his means. She suspects he even acquiesces to things he'd rather not to keep things unspoken between them.

So she's married to someone cold. He's there when she needs him. He puts on for the neighbors. If she asks him, he'll give her a daughter. A child for her. A companion for their son.

And if sometimes she longs for passion, for fire, she concedes that she has never known passion and wouldn't know what to do with a blaze.

So she is content.