Chapter 6:  Did they or didn't they?

Since that late night talk, Marguerite and Veronica had had things change between them. It was noticeable for the rest of the explorers that something had happened, but they didn't ask. Ned once had tried to figure it out, but neither Marguerite nor Veronica said a word. Since then, they all took it for granted. Everyone was happy that the two women were becoming friends. Sure, Marguerite still had her so called moody days, when you had better stay out of her way. However, she didn't pretend to not care for them anymore. She didn't try to hide that. Slowly the weeks passed. Roxton had recovered fully and had, as always, taken the responsibility to shoot their dinner and to protect the group. No one ever really thought of Charles Devon again.

On a sunny day, Challenger came out of his lab, once again running quickly to the window on the second floor and threw something outside. Then, when he just had turned around, it exploded.

"I really should put a window there." Challenger muttered.

Marguerite looked up from her book and said sarcastically: "George, really, how many times have you said that already?"

Challenger turned to face Marguerite, ready to say something, when he saw the grin on her face. All Challenger could do was laugh with the rest. Then he returned to his lab once again.

Veronica stood up and said she was going to the garden. "I really could use some of your help, Malone."

"But you never need help with your garden!" Malone replied.

"I do need your help this time, Malone!" Veronica said. She and Marguerite had had a conversation this morning. Marguerite wanted to tell; no, she needed to tell Roxton what had happened to her during her marriage with Charles. So Veronica wanted to give them some privacy. «And they would only have some privacy when 'Nosey-Malone' was far away from the treehouse» she thought.

"Veronica …"

However, Veronica pulled Malone out of his seat and pushed him into the elevator. When they landed on the solid ground, Challenger and Summerlee came walking into the living room, arguing as usual.

"Gentlemen, please." Roxton said, though the two men didn't hear him.

Marguerite had stood up and now stood in front of the two scientists. "If you two keep arguing, please go outside and annoy Veronica and Malone with it. They are in the garden!" Then she turned around, walked back to her chair, and continued reading.

Both Summerlee and Challenger looked stunned at the brunette. Then Summerlee said: "Not a bad idea." And when he saw Roxton's surprised face, he quickly added: "Going to the garden I mean."

"Sure Arthur!" Roxton said calmly and the two older men left the treehouse, leaving Roxton and Marguerite alone. Roxton, who was cleaning his rifle, looked at the woman who was sitting in the chair. Marguerite knew he was looking and it made her feel uncomfortable, she continued reading her book.

"Tell me Marguerite, why do you keep reading that book over and over again? I read it once and after the third chapter I really had to put it away."

Marguerite looked once again up from her book. "Why I read Jane Eyre over and over again? This is only …"

"… the tenth time you're reading it." Roxton filled in.

Marguerite knew Roxton was right and the reason she had taken the book once again to read was that she hoped to get the nerve to talk to Roxton about her past.

Roxton looked at Marguerite. Something was bothering her. He could see it, feel it. He carefully put his rifle on the table and walked quietly to Marguerite, so she didn't notice he was now standing behind her. He bent and softly whispered in her ear, "With everyone gone to the garden, you and I can have some time to ourselves.

It sent a shiver through Marguerite's spine. Not long after that, she felt a pair of soft lips kissing her neck. Though she thought it felt wonderful, Marguerite knew she had to stop this. This was not what she had planned to do while the others were gone. They really needed to talk.

"Roxton …" she murmured. Roxton had walked to Marguerite's front, never letting his lips leave her soft skin. Marguerite once again said his name, trying to sound persistent, but failed miserably. While Marguerite said his name for the second time, Roxton took advantage of that by kissing Marguerite fully on her lips.

Marguerite's hands slowly moved around his neck. She couldn't think straight anymore, her heart took over control. Roxton pulled Marguerite out of her chair. While they still kissed each other, they walked to the kitchen. When they were there, they broke apart, both breathing heavy. Marguerite looked up and saw Roxton moving his head towards hers again for another kiss. She let all her doubts go and when their lips met, her fingers were unbuttoning Roxton's shirt.

°°°°°

"What was that all about?" Malone asked when they arrived at the garden. "You never want any of us to help you with it."

Veronica looked at the man, whom she loved from the first time they met. She sighed. "You're right, but I promised Marguerite to give her some time alone with Roxton."

Malone looked in surprise at the beauty. "You ... promised Marguerite something? Now that's a hard one to believe. Help me remind to write that one down in my journal." Malone chuckled.

"Malone, that's not funny! She really needed to talk to him. And I do hope Challenger and Summerlee also left the treehouse."

Veronica has just said this when she heard Summerlee say: "You promised whom what?"

Malone spoke sooner and said a bit sarcastic and dramatically: "Veronica here, has promised Marguerite, MARGUERITE!, that she could have some time alone with Roxton."

Summerlee nodded understandingly. "Perhaps it's a good idea those two have a talk together."

Veronica looked at the old professor in shock. "You know?" Summerlee nodded once again.

Challenger and Malone looked at each other with question in their eyes. None of them knew what Veronica and Summerlee were talking about. Finally, Malone asked what was going on, but the only response he got was that it was none of his business.

°°°°°

Roxton led Marguerite towards the table, still kissing her, whispering words of love in her ear. Marguerite simply let him. She had tried for three years to keep the handsome lord out of her life, not admitting to him or anyone else that she had fallen deeply in love with him, not even to herself. Somehow, Lord John Richard Roxton had broken through all those fences. The others now knew that she really cared about them, so why not let him know she cared more for him than for the others? However, that little voice in the back of her mind kept repeating certain sentences: You have to tell him what happened. You have to tell him that you were pregnant with Charles' baby. You have to tell him that Charles beat you, has thrown you off the stairs, killing your baby.

Time to actually consider stopping Roxton's kisses by telling him a part of her past wasn't there. The sound of the elevator coming up made them break their embrace. Marguerite could see the disappointment on Roxton's face. She chuckled; it was kind of a cute sight. Roxton raised an eyebrow at her, but turned when he heard Malone and Veronica talking, or arguing was a better word.

"I'm not making dinner Malone, it's your turn!

"But Veronica..."

But Veronica didn't listen and walked straight to her room. Malone sighed heavily. He had hoped that the blonde beauty would make some of their favorite salad, but there was no way he was getting her to make it.

In the meantime, the elevator once again came up and the two professors walked out. The first thing Summerlee noticed was the pink color of happiness on Marguerite's cheeks. And when he looked at Roxton the same happiness could be found, clearly written all over his face. He wondered if anybody else had noticed but apparently they were so occupied with their own things to do they didn't seem to notice.

Roxton had walked back to the living area, finishing cleaning his rifles, before dinner would be ready. Marguerite walked to the stairs. When she was about the go down, she looked at Roxton. They made eye contact and it didn't go unnoticed by Summerlee. Summerlee decided it was better he had a talk with the woman he considered as his own daughter.

"Mind if I come in to have a little chat with you?" he asked while standing in the door opening. Marguerite turned around, nodding her head that it was okay.

"How are you feeling my dear? You have had some terrible months. First the kidnapping, then your ex-husband showing up."

Marguerite flinched at those thoughts. She rather would like to forget them, like they never happened. Though she knew it wasn't going like that. That were memories she had to live with, memories she had to carry with her for the rest of her life.

Summerlee took a look at the woman in front of him. He could easily tell that she rather would have had that he had not reminded her at those past few months. What changes she had been through. At the beginning of this expedition, he couldn't have told anybody that she would actually care about things other than diamonds, gems and pearls. If he had tried to talk about a subject like this three years ago, she would have built the walls higher, not showing anyone that the thought of those horrible months hurt her. However, he was a bit surprised when she actually answered his question.

"For the events I've been in, I'm feeling quite alright." She softly said.

Summerlee nodded understandingly. "And what about the things while you were married to Charles?"

"What about them?"

"Marguerite, it always hurts when you loose your child, even if it isn't born yet."

Marguerite had turned deadly white. "What ... what..."

Summerlee explained how he knew. Veronica never said a word about it. He even didn't know she knew about it. He had been there that afternoon. He was in the Zoological Center when Charles came in, as drunk as a ... well Summerlee couldn't describe it. He had heard Charles screaming about his wife and that he finally was going to punish her for not giving him an heir. After that he went to the bar, asking for a drink. But the bartender wasn't going to give him one single drop of liquor. Charles stalked out, enraged. Summerlee had thought it was for the better to follow him, before terrible things would happen. The way he had heard Charles yelling about his wife and his brother in law had told him that evening before that Charles Devon would finally get his heir.

"So my doctor was your..." Marguerite trailed off, for Summerlee mentioned he wanted to continue his story.

" I was there that day and indeed your doctor was my brother in law." Then he continued his story, remembering every single minute of it.

"I walked after him, hoping I would stop him in time, before someone was killed. Either him or an innocent. Though I didn't expected he could walk so fast in his state. What I feared the most happened. I lost him. Just to be sure he made it home, I walked to his place. Unfortunately, I was too late and just saw him throw his wife off the stairs. It still terrifies me. When I saw you lying there, not moving, your eyes closed. I ran towards you and saw that you needed a doctor. I wanted to tell Charles he had to phone your family doctor, but when I looked, he was gone. That was the main reason I testified against him."

"So you were the witness the judge spoke about." Marguerite said, more of a statement than a question.

Malone yelling dinner was ready interrupted their talk. Summerlee walked towards the door, when he turned around he saw that Marguerite didn't move. "Shall I tell the others that you are tired and wanted to take a nap, my dear? I can bring you your dinner later if you want."

Marguerite nodded. "Thanks Arthur, but could you ask Roxton to bring me my dinner later?"

"Of course."

Summerlee walked back to the living area and excused Marguerite for dinner. He sat beside Roxton, whispering to him that Marguerite had asked him that she hoped the lord could bring her her dinner when he was finished. Roxton looked surprised at Summerlee. It wasn't rare that Marguerite skipped meals, but before their little talk, she had complained about being hungry. His thoughts went to that little talk or more to the events that happened after it.

"Roxton ... Roxton!" Roxton looked up at Malone pulled out of his thoughts.

"I asked you three times if you wanted dinner." Malone said. Roxton couldn't help but feeling a bit uncomfortable. Quickly he nodded his head. When everyone had his dinner he said: "Bon Appetite everyone."

°°°°°

Marguerite was sitting on her bed, her knees pulled under her, thinking about her talk with Summerlee. He was right. It had hurt her deeply when she woke up in hospital and the doctor told her that she had lost her baby. It hurt her even more that the doctor also said that she probably would never have any other children due to her 'accident'. «Perhaps that's the reason I keep pushing John away from me, even though I already said to him I love him. Not because I'm afraidof him hurting me, but because I know I'll hurt him when he finds out I could never give him an heir» Tears had formed in her eyes. She didn't know how long she had sat like this, but suddenly Roxton was near her, taking her in his arms, hushing that whatever she was sad about, that it would be alright.

Marguerite nestled herself in his embrace. All she wanted now was to feel save, to feel loved and Roxton was giving it to her. They sat like this for a while, and then Marguerite broke out of his embrace and asked him what he had brought her for dinner. Roxton couldn't help but feeling a bit disappointed that his love had once again closed her heart for him. On the other hand, he was also proud of her, she was strong, she always would be. He handed her the plate he brought with him.

"Who's turn been it to cook?"

Roxton smiled. "Malone's."

"Well it has to do. Luckily it's not as bad as my cooking." She said with a smile.

"Do you want me to...?"

Marguerite looked at the man in front of her. She knew what he was going to ask. After what just happened, he thought she would rather eat dinner alone, calming down. Though she had to admit that was what she wanted, she also wanted him to help her. It startled her, she never had relied on people, never could rely on them. But relying on Roxton, trusting Roxton was one of the things she desperately wanted, therefore she said: "If you don't mind I would rather eat dinner alone. But I would love to go for a walk with you when I'm finished. If that's okay." Roxton nodded his head and whistling he walked upstairs.

After half an hour, Marguerite came up. Only a look in Roxton's way was enough. Roxton stood up happily. «She hasn't changed her mind about taking that walk» He quickly wrote a note to the others that they were taking a walk and would be back in an hour. Then he drew Marguerite with him into the elevator.

The two of them walked towards the pond in silence. Just enjoying their time together. However, Marguerite was gathering enough courage to tell Roxton all that had happened during her marriage with Charles. «He deserves to know the truth. But it's still hard to tell. Him deserving to know it, doesn't make it easier to tell». After fifteen minutes they were there. Roxton sat himself down at a rock, motioning at a rock besides him. Marguerite sat down as well.

"Roxton, there's something I have to tell you." Roxton looked up. It was a rare occasion that his love started a conversation with these words. Roxton nodded his head to show Marguerite she could continue.

°°°°°

Veronica had found the note Roxton had left, just a minute after they had left and she couldn't help but smile while reading it. The other three remaining members walked in seeing Veronica smiling, but they didn't ask about it. Though after almost an hour, when Challenger and Malone were finally in the kitchen cleaning up, Summerlee walked towards Veronica and asked if she thought that Marguerite finally would have the courage to tell Roxton. Veronica was about to answer when the elevator came up, bringing Marguerite and Roxton. Veronica looked at the couple, but she couldn't tell if they finally had their talk. Marguerite had walked straight to her room, while Roxton remained in the living room. Veronica was curious, so she walked to Marguerite's room.

"Hi there, mind if I come in?" she asked. Marguerite nodded her head. Veronica walked inside, she just had to know, and she blurted out: "Did you have the talk with Roxton?"