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Don't forget to comment when you're finished reading.... :)

 

It's About Family.... pt 4

an Hourglass story

by Gin

 

 

“Outlaws!” He whirled his horse to see the men from the rear of the caravan rushing forward to help with the fight. Kris and Emma both ran past the wagons and jumped into the fray. Andrew couldn't help but notice that they were initially, unarmed. He turned to Adi, “Stay here!”

 

“No!” Adi quickly swung Morgan's carrier around so that the baby was on her back instead of her chest. “Give me a sword.”

 

“Adi...” Andrew shook his head, “We can handle this.”

 

“Andrew...” Adi bristled against the restriction, then Morgan pulled on her ear. She sighed and nodded once before he turned his horse toward the melee.

 

Kris tackled one of the outlaws as he raised his sword to hit a hunter she recognized from Andrew's group. Relieving the attacker of his sword, she nodded to the hunter she'd saved and got one in return. There was no more time to think about it as the brigand tried to get his sword back. It was quick work to twirl, taking his feet out from under him, then use the sword handle against his temple to knock him out. She managed a quick look around.

 

The entire hunting party was engaged in the fight. One man for each person. Kris instinctively sought out Emma and was relieved to see she was doing well against her opponent. So well in fact that she was helping the combatants closest to her with their fights as well. Andrew on the other hand, didn't appear to be so lucky. He had been brought off his horse and unlike the rest was now facing three attackers on his own. As she moved to help Andrew, Kris only had time to look around once and realized that Jonathan had disappeared. Emma's voice brought her back to reality.

 

“Doc!”

 

Kris blinked and focused on the man coming straight at her. She dodged barely in time, his sword slicing a thin, shallow cut on her bicep. With a growl, Kris whirled and placed a cut on his arm as well. He dropped his sword and Kris grinned, “Stings a little bit, don't it?” She raised her eyebrows and took a step toward him, grinning wider as he scrambled away. She finally made it to Andrew's position, where he was still fighting off his three attackers. “Need some help?”

 

He grunted as he blocked one of the swords coming at him and nodded, “If you have a moment...”

 

Kris put her back to his and laughed over her shoulder, “Oh, I think I can spare some time.” She kept one eye on Emma and began her fight in earnest. She and Andrew fought side by side quite well and Kris only paused when she saw two more of the outlaws converging on Emma's position.

 

She had no doubt that her friend could defend herself against one, and two wasn't out of the question, but three? No, that was unacceptable. She cursed slightly as she reached for the knife at her side only to find it missing. In a blur of motion, Kris caught the man she was fighting off guard, stealing the short blade from its sheath at his waist. Flipping the weapon to hold it by the point, Kris hurled it at one of Emma's new attackers. She didn't watch for him to drop, she knew it would happen, anyone with a wound like that would not be moving forward for long. Refocusing on in front of her, Kris smiled. “Give up yet?” He growled and lunged for her, meeting only the point of her sword with his heart. She looked into his eyes as he slid off the sword to the ground, “I'll take that as a yes.” There was no time to think about it, as another brigand took his place.

 

Emma almost sighed as the man she was fighting smiled at her, this opponent wasn't really all that skilled, but he was tough, taking hits that would have knocked most people out cold. From the corner of her eye, Emma saw Kris assisting Lord Bingham and did sigh at the inevitable when she saw Kris throw the knife and one of the men approaching her dropped to the ground in agony. He clutched his leg where the knife Kris had thrown protruded from the back of his knee. She glanced over to thank her friend when she saw the sword in Kris' hand slide through her opponent. This trip is going to hell... we aren't supposed to be involved. We are only supposed to observe...plant ideas in people's heads maybe, Emma kicked her second attacker in the jaw, dropping him to the ground, where he stayed. We certainly aren't supposed to be killing people, the thought ran ominously through her mind, or saving them. She shook her head, trying to concentrate on her opponent and not at her traveling companion, who was edging ever closer.

 

Kris fought, shifted and moved, every step she took brought her and Andrew closer to Emma, until they were fighting back to back to back. They managed to take on all the attackers' advances until suddenly they were the only ones still engaged in a fight.

 

Emma twirled, sweeping her opponent's legs from under him, taking him to the ground where he stayed, groaning.

 

Kris gathered her strength and with a yell clashed the sword in her hand against the sword coming at her head. The result was the man's sword being knocked from his grip. With terror in his eyes, he turned tail and fled into the woods.

 

Andrew's opponent was not smart enough to run and found himself sliding off of the sword in Lord Bingham's hands. He dropped to his knees and watched dazedly as the pool of dark liquid grew around him.

 

Kris and Emma tried to catch their breaths, sucking air deeply into their lungs as they surveyed the scene.

 

Brigand bodies lay broken and battered, most not moving as their blood seeped into the ground. Kris saw that a couple of the attackers had moved past them to the wagons and just for a moment she saw the outline of Adi, with a sword in her hand; two of the attackers lay dying at the Amazon's feet. Kris caught Adi's eyes and found herself surprised, and not, when the Amazon grinned. Then Adi shook her head and put a finger to her lips to request her friend's silence on the event. Kris nodded, watching as Adi dropped the sword and moved to the other side of the wagon before Andrew looked her way. Several of Andrew's men had also been injured, a few severely and Lord Bingham was occupied with that for the moment.

 

“Those of you without major injury, collect as much firewood as you can.” Lord Bingham directed the men, as he rolled up the sleeves on his cotton shirt, “We must dispose of the bodies before we move on.” He glanced over at the wagon and saw that Adi and Morgan were safe then looked up seeing the ravens already circling.

 

“There aren't that many predators around here though, are there?” Kris thought that in this time most of the wolves were gone from England, however...she had seen some tracks.

 

Andrew shook his head, “No, not many, but there are still some wolves to the north.” He looked up again, “The birds will call them.”

 

“The birds will call them?” Emma didn't understand that.

 

“I'm not sure 'call' is the correct term. But other predators will see the raven's gathering and they will come. But listen,” He held up his finger for silence and they all heard the birds making distinctive calls. “It's too hard for ravens to eat large animals, when they find a carcass, they alert others, wolves if there is one near and other birds to the body or bodies so the carcass can be ripped apart, making it easier for them to eat.” Andrew saw the color drain from the blonde woman's face. “I'm sorry... I didn't mean to upset you.”

 

Kris immediately wrapped her arms around Emma's waist, ducking slightly to fit her shoulder under the fighter's arm. “Easy, Em... I got ya...” She guided Emma over to the kitchen wagon, meeting Rebecca's eyes as they approached, “Can I get a mug of something for her to drink?”

 

Rebecca quickly opened the top of the water barrel and dipped a mugful for Emma. She realized the others would be thirsty too and began to fill the mugs for them as well.

 

Kris watched Emma sipping her drink and spoke quietly to the woman, “Did you get hurt?” Emma shook her head and looked up as a shadow fell across them, “Oh, hello.”

 

The hunter looked down at the seated women then handed Kris a mug, “Thanks for the help back there.”

 

Accepting the mug, Kris nodded. She recognized the man as the one she'd saved when she tackled the first outlaw and taken his sword. “You're welcome.”

 

He smiled a little smile, “I don't care what Jonathan says, I'll fight by your side any time.” He was walking away by the time Kris responded.

 

“Thanks...” She hoped the man had heard her. “Em,” Kris looked into the blonde's eyes, “I'm going to go help gather the firewood.” She brushed the hair from Emma's forehead and smiled, “You gonna be okay?”

 

“Yeah, I just need to sit here for a minute.” Emma took a sip of her water and closed her eyes as it moved down to her stomach and dispersed. “Kris, are you...” Emma shook her head, there was too much to deal with now. “Go ahead, we can talk later.”

 

Nodding, Kris smiled and went into the surrounding woods to gather whatever fallen kindling she could find. If there wasn't enough, then they would have to cut down a tree or two. There were several bodies that would need to be taken care of by the pyre so quite a large fire would be required. The eyes of the man she had killed flashed in her head and Kris sighed and murmured to herself, “I wonder what kind of damage I did to the future in that split second.” She knew that was what Emma wanted to talk to her about and she wasn't sure she was ready for that conversation. They were still here though, and still together, so it wasn't anything catastrophic to her own family history. Kris bent down to pick up a large branch when she heard footsteps coming through the bushes to her right and fairly loud voices. Ones that were angry but trying to keep the volume down.

 

“You were late!” Jonathan fumed, “You were supposed to attack at the clearing we stopped at earlier.”

 

“And what happened to your count?” The man sneered, “One for one, you said... it will be easy you said... well we both know what your word means now...”

 

“My word is all I have left.” Jonathan's tone turned deadly. “You are just an outlaw, you all were, scum with nothing to your names, not even your word. So don't you ever talk to me like that again or I will kill you.”

 

“Try it, and I guarantee one of us will die, but it won't be me.” The outlaw grinned as Jonathan took a step back, “I thought so.” He held out his hand, “My money.”

 

Jonathan protested, “The job wasn't done.”

 

“You didn't say anything about the she-demons that would be traveling with you.” He indicated his arm, “She sliced me and the rest of my men are dead, or captured...” He held out his hand again, “Now, give me my money!”

 

Jonathan tossed a small pouch over to the man. “Next time, finish the job.”

 

“No,” The outlaw hefted the small bag in his hand, weighing it in his mind, “I'm finished with you. If you want it done.” He made a rude hand gesture, “Do it yourself.”

 

Kris held very still, almost not breathing as the men went their separate ways, the outlaw, deeper into the woods, Jonathan, walking within a body length from her, but too preoccupied to notice. When they were both gone, Kris exhaled softly. Another piece to the puzzle that created more questions than it answered. Gathering a few more pieces of wood, Kris headed back to the attack site. She needed to talk to Em; about a lot of things.

 

----------------------

 

Treatment of the wounded and cleanup of the attack site took longer than Andrew had anticipated.

 

Three of the men were unable to walk the rest of the way back, so the kitchen wagon was emptied, most of the implements and supplies dispersed among the other already full wagons. What they couldn't find room for was left to hopefully be retrieved later. So long as more outlaws didn't come and take it.

 

Lord Bingham sent the wagon with the wounded on ahead, along with a few of the hunters, Adi, Morgan and Rebecca. The rest of the hunting party finished piling the dead outlaws for the pyre. Three of the attackers weren't seriously hurt, merely knocked unconscious in the fight. They were shackled and forced to help in the creation of the pyre.

 

All three of the men complained vigorously about the tasks they were ordered to perform. One finally gave Jonathan a look of comprehension and opened his mouth to speak. The only thing that came out was a gurgle from the blood and air trying to pass the gap in his neck that Jonathan had made.

 

Emma was furious, “Why did you do that!?”

 

Blinking, Jonathan smiled sweetly, “He looked at me funny.”

 

Kris barely held Emma back from attacking Jonathan. “Stop, Em.”

 

Emma watched as the two now-quiet prisoners carried their companion's body to the pyre, tossing him on top of the others. It reminded Emma of the piles and piles of trash in the landfills in their time. Bag upon bag just heaped up higher and higher. She looked at the newly killed man laying on top of all the other dead people like so much garbage and couldn't take it. She turned in Kris' arms and began to cry, burying her face in her partner's shoulder.

 

Soothing the woman as best she could, Kris gently stroked Emma's long blonde hair. “Shhh... it will be okay... I promise....” Guiding Em to a quiet spot slightly away from the others, they settled on the ground. “I know you hate it, but that man was already condemned.” Kris sighed as the sobs continued, “He was an outlaw...” She looked down into Emma's teary eyes, “...it's horrible to us, but he was a criminal that had been condemned to live outside the law... it means no protection, anyone can take anything from him without fear of consequence, even his life.”

 

“That's awful.” Emma jumped at the sound of the fire being lit, the flames whooshing to engulf all the wood at once.

 

“It is awful,” Kris agreed, “but this isn't our time. We can't judge them for living by their own rules, for not living by ours.”

 

Emma calmed down, wiping the tears from her eyes. She sniffled a bit and nodded, “Yeah, okay.” Her eyes widened at the blood on Kris' arm, “You're hurt!”

 

Kris looked down at her arm where the man had sliced it. “Oh, yeah, I forgot.” During the fight adrenaline had kept the pain from the injury at bay. Now that she had been reminded of it, Kris winced, “It does sting some.”

 

With an exasperated sigh, Emma went to the supply wagon and retrieved a roll of bandages and a dubiously clean rag. She cleaned the wound then took a tube of antiseptic from one of her many pockets, stopping Kris' protest before it began. “There is no telling what was on that sword, much less what was on that rag I just used...” She squeezed a bit of the gel on her fingertip and spread it over the cut. “... just hold still.” Emma's eyes twinkled as Kris fumed over the coddling, but Emma knew her friend actually enjoyed being taken care of from time to time. She licked her lips and exhaled softly as she wrapped the bandage around Kris' arm, “So, on to other topics.” Their blue eyes met and Emma swallowed hard, “You killed that man in the fight, Doc.”

 

Kris closed her eyes, “Yeah, I did.” She grimaced at the thought and at the slight pain her wound gave her as Emma tied the bandage, “I'm trying not to think about it too much.”

 

“And,” Emma gently tucked the ends of the bandage under, “The bow...”

 

“I know,” Kris sighed, “it's definitely my family.”

 

“Yeah,” Emma sat back and rubbed her own temples lightly, “It gives you a 'what if' headache if you think too much.” But the tangible evidence meant that they really shouldn't stay any longer. There was no telling what might happen if Kris damaged her own timeline. The possibility of Kris becoming someone different, scared Emma beyond reason. There was always the possibility of being wounded or killed, this most recent attack proved that, but the idea that she might lose Kris, lose the love they shared, and never even know it was gone, was terrifying.

 

“I have something to tell you....” Resting her head on Emma's shoulder, Kris was grateful for the woman's arm around her. The sound of footsteps coming closer alerted her to Andrew's presence so she stopped her conversation with Emma and acknowledged the man, “Andrew...”

 

“A few of the men who weren't seriously hurt have offered to stay and watch the fire.” He ran his fingers through is graying hair, “The rest of us can go on to the manor.”

 

“Perhaps we should stay too?” Emma raised her eyebrows at Kris. This was a perfect way to get away from the family interaction.

 

Shaking her head, Kris stood and offered her hand to Emma for an assist off the ground. “No, we will continue on to the manor.”

 

Emma smiled sweetly and reminded Kris, through clenched teeth, “Are you sure?”

 

Kris nodded and returned the smile, “Yes, I'm sure...” Kris turned to Andrew even as she wrapped her arm around Emma's slender waist, “We'll be happy to travel with you.”

 

Shrugging, Emma leaned against Kris' shoulder, looked at Andrew and repeated, “We'll be happy to travel with you.”

 

“Ah.. uh... good. Are you two ready then?” Andrew looked dubious but then Emma received a little nod from Kris and seemed to shake herself out of whatever was bothering her and exhaled softly.

 

“Always ready.”

 

Kris just chuckled and smiled softly, “Yeah, let's go.” She intended on keeping an eye on Jonathan, at least until she found out what the man was planning.

 

-----------------------

 

The sun had touched the horizon when the large building loomed in front of them. It was a relief to see because also looming over them were thick storm clouds that threatened to let loose at any moment. They had already endured two quick bursts of rain as they walked. Andrew grinned at the sight, “Welcome to Bingham Manor.”

 

The large double wide doors opened and a large double wide woman swooped down the steps toward them. “Andrew! Jonathan...” She rushed to her brother's side, her high pitched voice laced with panic. “Are you hurt?!” The brown haired woman quickly checked her brother for injuries, “The wounded men arrived hours ago.” She looked through the group, finding and meeting Jonathan's eyes. She could be familiar with her brother in front of others, but it wasn't seemly to do so with Jonathan. “Does anyone else need a physician?”

 

Andrew wrapped his arm around the woman, “Easy, Constance... the rest of us have been treated.” He asked her quietly, “Where is Adi?”

 

“Waiting for you in your rooms as your note suggested.” Constance was struck by the tenderness in her brother's voice. Much like she had heard when Jane was still alive.

 

Assured that Adi and Morgan were safe, he dismissed the men, promising them extra pay for the excellent hunt. When the wagons were moved off to be unloaded into the storage rooms and the two prisoners were taken to be held until a Reeve could arrive, Andrew introduced his sister. “Kris, Emma... permit me to introduce my sister, the Lady Constance.”

 

Emma curtseyed as if she'd been doing it all her life, “Nice to meet you, m'lady.”

 

Kris placed her hand on her chest and bowed slightly, “It's an honor to meet you, Lady Constance.”

 

Constance's eyes were drawn to the bandage around Kris' arm, “You're injured!” Her eyes darted to Kris' face, “A brigand attacked you?!”

 

“He did.” Kris smiled, “I gave him a similar wound in return and he ran into the woods like a coward.”

 

“You gave...” Constance tried to process that concept, “You... were... fighting?”

 

“They are both brilliant fighters, Sister.” Andrew took a deep breath and acknowledged the women's help during the attack, “There would be many more wounded or dead without their assistance.”

 

“How unusual.” Constance smiled as she evaluated the women. They were strange, even more so than the one who had arrived on the wagon with the wounded. She was at least dressed properly but had it not been for the note Rebecca handed her, Constance would have sent Adi to the kitchens immediately. As it was, Andrew's familiar script had told her how to treat Adi and the baby boy, so they were currently ensconced in his own rooms. That was a shock, but Constance had to admit the child's family resemblance was striking, even if the boy did have his mother's eyes. The Lady returned her gaze to the women in front of her. They aren't even dressed properly, she thought and couldn't imagine wearing men's trousers.

 

“They will need a guest room.” Andrew's eyes were drawn to the door where Adi stood, his attention focused on his future wife so that he barely heard his sister's comment.

 

“The guest wing is being renovated after his Majesty's visit.” Constance's voice was laced with annoyance, “There are no rooms available.”

 

Andrew sighed, “I had forgotten that. I like living this far from London, but the King does demand privileges from time to time...” He ran his fingers through his graying hair, “... that is why we went on the hunt in the first place, to replenish our depleted stores.” An idea suddenly struck him, “but the family wing wasn't touched.” He grinned, pleased with his solution, “They can stay in my old room.”

 

Constance almost protested that arrangement. These were strangers and Andrew was going to put them very close to their own rooms. She bit back her argument and tipped her head slightly, “As you wish. It will take a little while for Christopher to find another place for the clothing trunks I've been storing there.”

 

Smirking, Kris looked at Emma who widened her eyes in outrage.

 

Pointing a finger at her lifelong friend, Emma spoke slowly and distinctly, “Don't... say it.”

 

Kris made a show of pressing her lips tightly together but was still unable to hide the slight smile, it showed too easily in her eyes and burst out fully when Emma rolled her eyes. “C'mon Em. You love clothes, maybe you and Constance can be friends...”

 

Brushing dirt off her sleeve, some imaginary, some not, Emma snorted and looked directly at Kris. “I've got all I need right here.”

 

Kris chuckled at her friend but spoke seriously to the Lady, bowing slightly, “So long as we can get to the bed, I assure you we will be grateful for whatever room you have. After the day we've had, any space that is dry and warm would be perfect.”

 

“Hmmph...” Constance sniffed at the declaration, At least they are properly grateful. She had taken her fill of the King's court and their entitled attitudes. “Of course.” She considered the groups damp clothing, “Perhaps you could find some suitable, dry, clothing in the trunks.” All the clothing stored in that room was much too small for her, but Constance thought, a little enviously, it would probably be too large for their guests. Nevertheless, she offered, “Use any of it you deem appropriate.” A man had unobtrusively approached the group and Constance now spoke to him, “Christopher, please show our guests to Lord Bingham's old room.”

 

“Yes, M'lady.” He stiffly turned at his waist and gestured for the women to follow him as he began walking toward the house.

 

With a final squeeze to his sister's shoulders, Andrew too began walking toward the house, and Adi, leaving Constance to speak with Jonathan. Andrew promised himself he would speak to his sister later regarding the man's infidelity, now was not the time. He took the steps two at a time up to the door and enveloped Adi in his arms for a long moment. “Where is Morgan?”

 

“Rebecca is watching him.” Adi sighed, leaning into the man's damp chest, hating the weakness that made her admit, “I missed you.” The hours they had spent traveling, her uncertainty at the treatment she would receive when she arrived here without Andrew, the hours they'd spent waiting for the rest of the hunting party to return had... diminished her in her own eyes. She was, therefore, amazed when Andrew spoke softly.

 

“I missed you too.”

 

------------------

 

Kris wrapped her good arm around Emma's waist as they followed the manservant, Christopher, through the corridors of the mansion. She wanted the warmth and comfort of Emma's thin, but solid, familiar body against her. This had been a very long day. She breathed a sigh of relief when the man stopped in front of a sturdy looking wooden door and opened it.

 

“Your room.” He kept his opinions to himself as the women moved past him into the room. “If there is anything else you require just let me know.”

 

“Thank you, Christopher,” Emma took off her damp jacket, draping it over one of the many trunks scattered around the room. She smiled, leaning against the edge of the door, as the man tried not to look at the wet, white, material as it clung to her body, “I believe we will be quite comfortable here.”

 

Blinking, Christopher backed away as Emma slowly closed the door. Standing in stunned silence for a moment he swallowed hard as a loud thump came from the other side of the door and a distinctive groan reached his ears. Anyone hearing that would know instantly what was going on in that room. His knowledge that the only people in there were two women shook him to the core. He walked away quickly, unwilling to stay to hear God knew what other unnatural noises they would make.

 

---------------------

 

Constance moved closer to Jonathan, using the excuse of darkness to justify the proximity. “Are you injured?”

 

“No.” He smiled and forced himself to reach out, caressing her cheek lightly with his fingertips. “I was not hurt.”

 

“Jonathan,” Constance asked quietly, “Who are these women? Where did they come from?”

 

“I found them in the woods.” Jonathan realized what an ally he had and continued in a conspiratorial voice, “They were not even camping Constance, they had no fire or anything, they were just...there.” He recalled the meeting. “They were planning what to do when they got onto Andrew's land and were eating hemlock,” He nodded as Constance gasped, “Yes, and feeding it to the child like it was candy...” He continued to embellish the lie, “When we got back to the hunting camp, the one with the child was immediately taken to Andrew's cabin, but the other two were assigned a cabin of their own and the shrieks that issued from behind that door would have curdled your blood.”

 

“Oh my!” Constance wondered what kind of vipers her brother had let into their home. Surely they weren't witches as Jonathan contended, but they were quite strange. “Andrew seems to be enamored of the woman,” It hadn't taken a genius to see how absorbed her brother was with the woman, and the child too she supposed, “The boy certainly looks like a Bingham.”

 

Jonathan shook his head, “It's a trick, Andrew is bewitched... I have not been able to prove it yet, their magic is strong...” He smiled at the woman's stricken face, knowing that she was believing every word he said. “I will watch them and find a way to prove to Andrew that his bewitchment is real.”

 

“Do be careful!” Constance moved a bit closer, placing her plump hand on his chest. “Will you come to my rooms tonight?”

 

“Not tonight, I must find a way to get these vipers away from Andrew.” Jonathan patted the hand on his chest then removed it, “Soon though, we will be together.”

 

Nodding, Constance watched as Jonathan melted back into the growing darkness. He was quite gracious, and decently handsome although not as tall and muscular as most but Constance could tell there was something wrong. There was a coldness to his eyes that never quite went away, not even when they were, close. Shaking off her misgivings, Constance decided to go and oversee a snack for their guests. Even if they were witches as Jonathan suspected, it was no reason to be inhospitable, until they knew for sure.

 

------------------------

 

Kris had opened one of the trunks with a loud thump against the wall next to the door. She had groaned, loudly, at the frilly dresses she'd discovered. After further investigation they'd found some nice dry clothes that would be great for them. They had laid it out and began undressing themselves, which had turned into undressing each other, and the new clothes had become unnecessary very quickly.

 

They climbed into the bed and spent a good deal of time each enjoying the solid, warm form of the other. After she was relaxed enough, Kris began to tell Emma about what she had seen in the woods with Jonathan and the outlaw.

 

“God,” Emma snuggled against Kris, reveling in the embrace, “this is getting complicated.”

 

“Mmmm....” Kris agreed, “but we need to figure it out. He's up to something... he didn't know we would be with the group... his intended target had to have been Andrew. Did you see how they went after him? Three to one...”

 

“But, I've heard Andrew call Jonathan 'brother'... even with the marriage to the sister, to call him that means they must be somewhat close.” Emma absently traced her fingertips along Kris' ribs. “Why would Jonathan want Andrew dead?”

 

“I have a good idea.” Kris closed her eyes at Emma's wandering hand. “I'm not sure what I should do about it though.” She tried to ignore the beginnings of a headache, “I don't know enough about my own family history, I'm not sure if I should... intervene.”

 

Emma groaned, the word they were both thinking taking form in her exhale, “Paradox.” If Andrew died before he was supposed to, Kris could possibly cease to be... but if he didn't die at the same point in time as he had previously, Kris' whole history could be changed as well... the what if's were astounding. Change things too much and they would never be here and if they weren't here then everything would unfold the way it should, Kris would be fine and then they would be here... but then if they interfered when they shouldn't, Kris would cease to exist.... over and over... Emma sighed, “Why can't things be easy.” She wanted to run, “Let's just go back to the hunter's camp. We can stay in the little cabin, play in the river... catch fish and relax until it's time to jump again.”

 

“That, sounds....” Kris sighed as Emma's weight pressed against her, skin sliding against skin, “... perfect.” She reached up, threading her fingers through Emma's blonde hair, “but you know we can't.”

 

Emma dropped her head down, resting her forehead on Kris', “Yeah, I know.” She brought their lips together for a long moment. “It's kinda nice here too.” It was starting to get dark though and she spotted an unlit candle next to the bed.

 

“You bet it is.” Kris drew the blonde back down to her for another long moment. She thought about getting up and getting dressed then decided against it. A knock on the door proved that to be a bad decision. She left Emma in the bed with the sheet and wrapped the blanket around herself as she went to answer the door. Opening it slightly, Kris asked the man on the other side, “Yes, Christopher?”

 

“The Lady Constance sent these.” He held out a tray with plate of pastries and a pitcher of something to drink, “And she said to inform you that breakfast is served an hour after dawn.”

 

Kris opened the door a little wider and, managed to stay mostly covered as she took the tray. She smiled, “Thank you.” Her blue eyes twinkled as the man's gaze slipped past her to the bed, where Emma sat also, obviously, naked under the sheet. What he saw her do shocked him more than the nekkidity though, she reached over and a small flame shot from her hand, lighting the candle next to the bed!

 

The servant bowed and swallowed hard, speaking in a choked voice as he moved away, manners overriding his shock, “Have a good evening.”

 

Kris chuckled and smirked, “Oh.. we will.”

 

He heard the blonde laughing as the door closed and shuddered. Witches.

 

“What is it?” Emma tucked the lighter back into one of her many jacket pockets, tossing the garment over the trunk where it continued to dry.

 

“Looks like pastries,” Kris broke one open, “This one is mine...” She showed Emma the meat filling.

 

“Mmm...” Keen eyes selected another one and Emma smiled as she broke it open, “This one is mine.” The fruit filling smelled wonderful and she groaned as she bit into the concoction.

 

Kris smirked, “Still want to go back to the hunter's camp?”

 

Emma's only reply was to narrow her eyes and take another bite of her snack.

 

-----------------------

 

TBC in Part 5

 

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September 2011

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