I can only apologize for the long delay, life got in the way. Hopefully it won't be as long until the next update :)
"Ready to go home?" James asked, moving behind Felicity, his hand brushing against her shoulder as she carefully folded the last of her clothing into the small bag.
"Oh yes," she replied, giving a small laugh. "I'm sick and tired of staring at these walls."
"It's only been a week," he reminded her gently.
"Which was a week too long."
He chuckled at that statement, pressing a chaste kiss to her cheek before telling her, "You do remember that you're on bed rest for another week when you get home."
"How could I forget." She rolled her eyes as she turned to face him, her fingers interlinking with his. "James, I don't need to spend that long with my feet up. I'm feeling much better."
"And since I'd like to keep it that way we are going to be following the Doctor's instructions to the letter. No arguments," he chided her, his finger tapping underneath her chin. "In fact you should count yourself lucky that I'm letting you walk to the front door, you know I'd much rather-"
"I am not getting wheeled out of here in some godforsaken chair," Felicity bit back.
"Which is why I'm compromising with you on it, but I draw the line at letting you run yourself into the ground." His hand slid jerkily over her stomach. "It's not good for the baby."
Catching sight of the uneasy expression on her husband's face, Felicity caught his hand squeezing it lightly as she asked, "James are you ok?"
"You don't look it," she told him bluntly.
"It's just that a lot has happened the last few weeks, still trying to get my head around everything."
Stroking her fingertip over his knuckles she tried to reassure him, "It will all work out, this baby is our new start, you said so yourself."
James gave a sharp nod. "I know I did," he murmured.
"And you'll be their father, he won't be involved. In time we can forget this ever happened," she continued, trying to convince herself as much as she was trying to convince him.
His expression cleared slightly at her words and he nodded again, this time looking much more confident. "You're right," he replied, a small smile curving his lips now. "Of course you're right."
Relief washed over her at his words, she cared for James and she knew that they could have a satisfactory marriage and he would be a good father, that they could be happy, but a big part of her relief was solely down to self preservation and she was aware of how selfish that sounded. But without James she would be ostracised and her baby a social pariah and she just couldn't let that happen. "So shall we go home then?"
"Yes, the car is waiting outside for us." He reached for her bag heaving it over his shoulder, in truth he had been uncomfortable about accepting the offer of the vehicle and it's driver from the Baron, but Felicity would never be able to walk that far when she was so battered and bruised and so he'd been left with little option but to accept.
She shot him a genuine smile. "I've actually missed the place," she told him. "Strange that, I've spent so long wishing to get away and now all I want is to get back there."
"That's good to hear," hereplied as he wrapped his arm around her waist as they walked out to the car together.
Tapping his pen against the desk, the Baron couldn't help but look towards the window again, scrutinising the long driveway for any sight of the car. He wanted to see that Felicity was ok for himself, he had heard from countless sources that both she and the baby were fit and well but he had to see it for his own eyes. It had without a doubt been one of the longest weeks of his life.
He sighed, dropping the pen and pressing his fingertips together he tapped them against his chin, trying to clear his mind, the Senator's last words to him echoing in his head. He should be relieved, the man was willing to give the child his name, which meant that no-one would ever know that it was the child of a German Kommandant, it was the best outcome for the baby and for Felicity as well, and yet it made him feel sick.
He'd already lost one son, he didn't want to watch another grow up believing another man to be their father, even if it was in their best interest. He rubbed at his temples, feeling his headache intensify, he wouldn't get to hold them in the few minutes after their birth, wouldn't see them open their eyes for the first time and when the war ended and he was called away from here then there was a rather large possibility that he'd never see either the baby or Felicity again. He swallowed back a wave of nausea, he hated this, hated the uncertainty.
It was the crunch of gravel that first drew his attention, his head snapping up as he took in the familiar sight of the gleaming black car. He got to his feet, he didn't care what it looked like or whether it angered the Senator he was going to talk to Felicity, hear that she was well from her own mouth. Pulling his hat on as he stepped into the cold March air, he watched as the Senator helped her out of the car, saw the jerkiness of her movements, the discomfort of her injuries no doubt robbing her of her usual gracefulness. "Ah, Mrs Dorr you're home."
He saw the flash of anger cross the Senator's features as he glared over at him. Felicity looked up at him, the side of her forehead still marked with yellowing bruises and in the moment that her husband wasn't looking her way he could have sworn he saw a smile cross her features. Shooting an apprehensive look in her husband's direction she replied dryly, "Yes, I was beginning to find the infirmary slightly stifling."
The Baron forced himself not to smile at her irreverent tone, choosing to nod instead. "I trust you are fully recovered?"
It was the Senator who replied this time. "Not quite, and standing out here is certainly not following Doctor's orders, so if you'll excuse us, I'd like to get my wife out of the cold."
"Of course," he answered shortly, stepping to one side, letting them pass him. His teeth ground together as he watched the Senator press his hand into the small of Felicity's back, guiding her into the house. He didn't want him touching her, and it took him a few moments to remember that it was him without that right.
Settling herself onto the sofa, Felicity watched James pace, obviously discomfited by Heinrich's appearance. She gave a soft sigh as she told him quietly, "He knows about the baby, so you can't be surprised that he wanted to check up on me."
"You are not his concern," James snapped back. "I've told him to stay away."
"And you expected him to listen?" she asked tiredly.
"I won't have it, Felicity, I won't have us spending this war watching over our shoulders, pandering to his whims."
"Don't be so dramatic," she scolded him. "He's a logical man, he won't want this to come out anymore than we do, if only for the baby's sake." She pressed a hand to her head. "Do you want me to talk to him?"
"No, I don't!" James whirled around to look at his wife. "I want you to stay away from him, and I want you to rest."
Waving her hand over her prone form, Felicity gave him a small smile, telling him, "What does it look like I'm doing?"
He glanced back over at her and gave an almost satisfied nod. "Good, I'm going to sort this out-"
"James, please just leave it alone, if you bait him you'll only make it worse."
He drew in a deep breath, pausing for a moment before he finally replied, "Fine, I'll leave it...for just now anyway."
Glancing at his watch he told her, "I better head into work for a little while, will you be ok here? Delphine will just be downstairs if you need anything."
"I'll be perfectly fine," she tried to assure him. "Now on you go and don't worry about me."
He watched the Senator leave, watched as the man sent a somewhat anxious look up at his wife's window. The Baron repressed a grim smile, it might be considered petty but he enjoyed the fact that his presence very obviously irritated him, after all the man had what he wanted.
He waited until the Senator and his bicycle had disappeared out of sight before turning on his heel and heading up to the set of rooms that were solely reserved for the couple. The Senator might have warned him to stay away but he still had to speak to Felicity, had to know where they stood now, after all she'd avoided him in the lead up to her accident, and as much as he had understood that at the time, now she was carrying his child things had changed.
Glancing around the hallway, he ensure the coast was clear before making his way swiftly up the stairs, not pausing to knock before entering the cosy sitting room. Felicity was lying on the sofa, a book open on her lap, she glanced up at him, remarking casually, "I wondered how long you'd wait, I have to admit I thought you'd be more patient."
Despite the events of the last week, the Baron couldn't help but smile at her words, he'd missed her wit of late, there was no-one else on this island who he could talk to, who treated him like a normal person rather than a slave driver or a monster. "I felt I had shown enough restraint as it was."
"You may not have stormed into the hospital ward yourself, but you certainly made your presence felt nonetheless. You can rest assured that James was not amused by your men turning up every single day to check on my progress."
"The Senator was not my primary concern, or indeed a concern at all," he told her bluntly.
Her head tilted, her smile fading as she replied seriously, "While your concern is touching it could have raised questions, we were lucky it was brushed off as a guilty conscience."
"Perhaps it would have been better if the truth had come out."
She paled at that statement, the blood draining from her face. "You don't mean that," she choked out, her voice strangled.
"Oh but part of me does, Felicity, I admit that while originally I had agreed that it was better for us to end things before your husband's return I already regretted it before your accident, and now that I know you are pregnant the situation is intolerable."
"This is the best possible outcome," she replied quickly. "You must know that, if James hadn't forgiven me then I would be an outcast and this baby would suffer, you've heard what they do to the children of German soldiers in France, it would be no different here."
"I would put you under my protection."
"You don't know how long you'll be stationed here, and if this war is still going on then I won't be able to go with you, and then what?"
"I cannot watch you pretend to be a family."
"There is no pretence," she snapped. "James and I are married so whether you like it or not we are a family."
"I won't allow him to shut me out," he told her mulishly.
"I think deep down James knows that. You live here, Heinrich, he'll never be able to alienate you in the way he'd like to."
"But he can ensure that my child sees me as a monster," he stated quietly.
Swinging her legs over the side of the sofa, Felicity reached for his hand, suddenly feeling ashamed of her earlier words. "I won't let that happen," she tried to assure him. "I don't like this situation but surely you can see that this is what's best."
"For now perhaps."
She got to her feet, eyeing him warily. "What does that mean?"
He didn't answer her, instead choosing to run his fingertips over the healing cut on her forehead, past the bruising and onto her cheekbone. He heard her breath catch and his lips curled into a smile as he lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her gently. For a brief second she returned the kiss, deepening it even before she jerked away. "No!" She shook her head. "No, I can't. I can't betray James again."
"You should rest," Heinrich told her, watching as her distress took its toll, causing her to sway on her feet. He didn't wait for her reply, lowering her back down onto the sofa, crouching on the floor next to her. "I didn't mean to upset you."
"You don't upset me, you just confuse me," she admitted.
Sitting back on his feet he gave a sharp sigh. "Perhaps you are right, perhaps we shouldn't discuss this, at least not now, not until you're better."
"I'm fine really, I just-"
"Need to stop arguing, and in the meantime I will keep my distance. When you're fully recovered then we'll talk, properly."
"I don't suppose I get a say in this."
"Not this time, no," he replied, amused by her defiant air. "Now rest."
She mock saluted him. "Yes, Sir."
"Good day, Mrs Dorr," he told her.
Felicity smiled at the return to formalities. "And to you, Baron."
She watched as he ducked his head in acknowledgement before he walked out of the room, leaving her to rest. Picking up her book, Felicity reopened it, trying to focus on the storyline rather than the fact she felt more comfortable in the so called enemy's presence than she did in her husband's.
Smiling, June wrapped herself around her new husband, kissing his bare shoulder. "I never want to leave this bed," she told him, giggling.
"You're not disappointed at the lack of a glamorous honeymoon," Andrew asked. "I'm sure that ten days in a tiny holiday cottage wasn't what you meant."
"A tiny holiday cottage that is only five minutes away from the beach and a cove we can go skinny dipping in," she pointed out in reply.
He smirked. "That was fun."
"Exactly, and even if we had went somewhere glamorous, I don't think we would have had the opportunity to see too many of the sights." She ran her finger down his sternum, asking, "Do you?"
He squirmed underneath her touch. "Perhaps not," he conceded.
"Definitely not," she corrected him. "And at least we had a honeymoon."
"Yes, although it will be back to the grindstone after tomorrow."
"Perhaps, but I've actually missed the shop. But only a tiny bit," she laughed, holding her thumb and forefinger a few centimetres apart to illustrate her point.
"How much notice did you have to give?"
"Notice?" June's brow creased into a frown. "Why would I have to give notice?"
Andrew twisted, looking down at his wife, he stated, "Because we're married, why would you want to keep working in the shop?"
"Why wouldn't I?" June questioned. "Angelique and I are a team."
"Married woman shouldn't be working," he stated as though it should be perfectly obvious to her. "And anyway you'll be kept busy on the farm until we have a family."
"My mother worked," she pointed out.
"Your mother has done a lot of things that woman shouldn't."
June jerked out of his embrace. "She might have done, but I don't really think that's for you to comment on."
He had the grace to look ashamed by his words. "You're right, I'm sorry I didn't think."
"No, you didn't."
"June, I just thought that you knew that when we got married you wouldn't be working anymore."
"Why would I? We never talked about it."
"Because it's what done."
"By other people, it doesn't mean we have to blindly follow," she argued.
Sighing, Andrew dropped back against the pillows. "Perhaps we'd be better not to talk about this just now, we're not about to settle this tonight and I don't want this to be the lasting memory of our honeymoon."
"No, neither do I," June relented. "We can talk about it when we get home." Throwing her legs over the side of the bed, the moment somewhat shattered, she asked, "Will we go for a walk.?"
He nodded, reaching for his shirt. "Sounds good."
Watching him dress, June tried to shake the feeling of discomfiture that was slowly but surely creeping over her. She was suddenly realising that perhaps marriage was not going to be as simple as she'd first thought.