The fire was alive. Elise wrapped her arms around her knees and listened. The flames cracked and whooshed. She had overreacted. Maybe. She was still having trouble wrapping her mind around all the information Aramis had told her. Violence. She absentmindedly touched the scar on her neck, and shivered.

Her mind was telling her to run as far away from Aramis as possible, but her heart was saying otherwise. Loudly. Memories of their night together replayed in her mind. Her fingers had traced over all his scars. She didn't ask him, but she should have known... With scars like that, a man had to have seen violence.

Just then there was a knock on her door, and she knew exactly who it was. Sighing, she made her way to the door and swung it open. There he was, dark hair falling into his eyes, and a frantic look on his face. Her heart melted.

"Come in,"

He brushed past her, and grabbed her hand as he did.


She squeezed his fingers. "I'm sorry. That was a bad reaction. You confided in me, and I blew it. I just-"

He stopped her by pulling her against him and kissing her lips fervently. He ran his hands through her hair and held her.

"You were only gone a couple hours and I missed you." He confessed.

"I missed you too. Are you going to have to leave?"

He brushed his thumb against her cheek, "Athos says maybe not."

"Good." She gripped his sweater in her hands. "I don't want you to go."

"If I do have to go, would you come with me?"

She thought for a minute. "I would, if you wanted me to."

"I hope it doesn't come to that. I really want to put all of that behind me."

She smiled at him, a genuine and warming smile. She understood about wanting to put the past behind. All too well.

"Aramis," she whispered. "I'm sorry you had to go through that. It must have been horrible."

He sighed heavily, "It was." He gripped the crucifix hanging from his neck.

Elise's fingers curled around his. "Are you religious?"

He scoffed, "When it suits me."

He walked her toward the sofa, and beside her. "No. I truly am, I'm just a bad example."

Elise pondered, and she doubted Aramis could be a bad example for anything. All at once, she realized how fleeting this was. Their...encounter. Their romance. Some time in the future he would return to Paris. And although these thoughts nagged at her from the back of her mind, she ignored them. For now she was content to sit in front of her fireplace, holding Aramis's hand.