Disclaimer: I disclaim.
Rate: PG, I guess.
Summary: silent moments in the night. M/R mostly.
AN: First of all many many many thanks to my super duper Beta MWB, she has the sharpest eye and just knows how to perk a story up. Secondly, I looooove reviews, thirdly, I want to continue this story but am not completely sure how without ruining the effect, input would be greatly appreciated. Now I'll stop yapping and let you read, have fun.
It was the middle of the night, yet Lord John Roxton couldn't sleep. He was tossing and turning until he finally got up, maybe he just needed to get some air. He made sure he was properly clad before walking out on the balcony; where he stood a while, the moon making everything look beautiful and mysterious. Like Marguerite, he thought. He diverted his gaze into the tree house, towards her door and unconsciously, his bear feet his feet followed his heart.
Her door was closed, of course it was closed, but it opened, when he looked down he saw it was his own hand opening it, but couldn't remember telling it to do that.
Moonlight filtered through the curtains, that the middle of the jungle and they still had curtains was a little miracle. Her room looked like a holy place; little things glistened in the moonlight, it was as if they shone out of respect, out of sheer amazement of the beauty on the bed. He silently moved closer, using all of his hunters' instincts to make sure she didn't notice. He looked upon her; this was the only time when she would be totally innocent, fragile, like an angel made out of glass. He loved her; he looked upon her and loved her. He debated touching her hair, it looked so soft and dark, but he didn't he didn't want to disturb this picture of perfection. He just wanted to look, to see her without any barriers, without the pain and self-reliance in her eyes. Now he could protect her, like he wanted to, and she wouldn't fight him. He smiled, the only time she didn't argue or fight with him was when she was asleep, he loved her for it, how she would never give in, how she would taunt him, lead him on and then just turn away. But not tonight, tonight he could just look at her, how her dark curls fell around her face and on the bed, making her face seem very pale, the moonlight caressed her cheeks, showing every detail, every little line, every soft curve of her face.
He almost had a heart attack, a very silent heart attack, when she moved, her nose wrinkled when a stray lock of hair fell upon it. He carefully reached out and caressed it away, so it wouldn't bother her anymore. He marvelled at the sense, the feeling, the very structure of that single lock of hair for the moment he held it, before quietly placing it back with its kind.
He stood by her bedside and looked at her, just looked, because he loved her.
She was between sleeping and waking, and somewhere in that place she knew someone was watching her, she smelled him, sensed him behind her, and she recognised him, by the very way he was being quiet.
She should shout at him, curse him in every language she knew, and whack him across the head for a couple of times for entering her room without permission. But she didn't, because then he would leave. It felt good having him stand so near, because she trusted him more then she had trusted any man before him. She trusted him with her life, with her secrets and with her treasure, and maybe, someday, she would trust him with her heart. She started falling back to sleep, she felt safe falling asleep even with Roxton looking at her. He was looking out for her, on some level she even believed he would chase all the bad dreams away, no one had ever chased them away before.
Roxton sat next to her bed, one hand on it to steady himself. He had fallen asleep a while ago. This is how she found him, asleep in the most awkward position that promised hell-ish back pains the next morning. He only wore his trousers, giving her a good view of him, but the first ray of daylight came through the window, she cursed herself for not closing the curtains properly, this bright and yellow ray seemed to shatter the magic of the moment.
Only now she noticed his hand on her bed, and she took it in hers and gave it a little kiss, surely enough this woke him up. He first looked very confused, like he was wandering where he was, then he noticed her looking down on him, he didn't know what to say, if he should apologize or just wish her good-morning. She smiled, it was fun to see him in such peril, but mostly she smiled because she wanted to smile, because she was happy he was there.
But he looked very tired; she wandered how long he had been standing there, and how much sleep he had actually got. She was pretty sleepy herself, but that could also mean it wasn't noon yet, the usual time for her to get up when they were home.
A small face looked down on him from between silken mounds of flowing dark curls. He was thoroughly shocked; he the great hunter Roxton was caught like a dear in the headlights. She smiled, and he wandered how long she would make him pay for this, she looked like she was making up all kinds of nasty plans already, and she looked so sweet doing it, she was only half awake, her hair sticking out to all sides. The doom he would gladly follow, he knew he was a fool to be a slave to a woman; he had always pitied those men back in London and now here, in the middle of the jungle he had finally been caught.
He almost flinched when she stretched her arm out to his other hand, apprehensively he gave it to her, she pulled both his hands, meaning for him to stand up, and he did, hoping he would come out of this in one piece. But when he stood there she patted the bed. She seemed to understand as he had that they wouldn't need words, that words would break the spell. He sat down as she had wanted him to, he was still waiting for the catch. She softly pushed him down to the bed, this to his surprise, and when he lay there, on her bed; she snuggled up to him and seemed to fall asleep again. At this point he finally relaxed, there was no catch, he was no one's slave, so he put an arm around her small figure and closed his eyes.
Veronica looked around the kitchen, as always she was up first, last nights dishes, pots and pans all still stood there. Ned found it necessary to wander in at the same moment Veronica found it necessary to throw an over- ripe tomato in the general direction of Marguerite's room. Guess who was on wash duty last evening? Of course Ned's face caught the poor tomato.
"Good-morning to you too." He calmly said. It was just too early, it wasn't worth to ruin the day this early by having a fight.
"Oh! Ned I'm so sorry!" Veronica exclaimed, just before she started laughing.
"Right. Would any assistance in getting this off be available?" he asked.
She grabbed a wash cloth and helped him clean his face, when he could see without big blobs of red dripping into his eyes he looked around the kitchen as well.
"It's a mess in here!" He stated.
"I concur, what happened?" Challenger asked who found this an appropriate time to wander in.
"Marguerite, she was on wash-up duty last night." Veronica explained. She dropped the cloth somewhere on the table and marched right on to Marguerite's room, the two men followed for several reasons. A. Veronica was right and they had to show it by standing behind her B. They had to make sure Marguerite was still able to do the washing up after Veronica was through with her and C. they didn't get a chance to see many catfights in the jungle. Veronica stopped suddenly in the middle of Marguerite's doorway, good reflexes saved the two men from bumping into her.
Ned's mouth dropped open. Veronica seemed somewhere between utter amazement, happiness and the urge to run out and tell someone about this, even if there weren't a whole lot on the plateau who cared. The poor girl hadn't had that much to gossip about in her life as she lived alone most of it, but she was still a woman!
"I'll just do the dishes." Challenger muttered.
"I'll help you." Malone said.
"Yeah." Veronica agreed, then she closed the door.