Georg woke with a banging headache, he hadn't slept well at all; he kept thinking, wondering what he'd done wrong; everything was going well between them, they were getting on really well, they'd become closer than he ever thought possible.

He looked back at her time in hospital, He remembered how he loved looking after her, even though she wasn't the best patient, she didn't like hospitals, and he had to find out the hard way, yes she was in pain mentally and physically over the attack, but the hospital was making her worse, her moods were out of hand, and he was the one on the wrong end of it; he laugh and saying to himself 'yes she has a very strong temper, when she can't get her own way'. Georg remember the third day in there, Maria had manage to get out of bed and pushed herself so hard to walk around the room, just to show the doctor, she was fit for the off, she even told him she was perfectly fine, but the doctor could see though her straight away and while leaving the room, and saying, "no a few more days" Georg laugh he could see she was already forming her own escape route before the doctor had closed the door completely. Georg decided to cheer her up a bit, so he decided to lighten the mood for the rest of the days there, he told her his silly jokes, and stories of what he got up to in his younger days at sea, leaving out some miner things, like what signal men got up to. It helped, but there was only so much she could take. One evening he asked Aderline that when she come back the following mornings to bring some books, and even any sewing material, just to keep Maria busy, and take her mind off where she was. Georg went back to thinking what he did wrong,

Had he come on to strong, was he moving too fast, or did Maria just not feel the same. He sat on his bed a moment, wondering what to do, he knew, just like she said she needs time, so he now decided to keep his distance and hoped that in her own good time Maria will come to him. He decided to get ready, and headed for the bathroom, but still deep in thought on now how to act.

The breakfast table was buzzing; with the conversation of question on Max and Elsa and there big day, but they answered with a "we haven't really thought about anything just yet". The children still kept on with the question, making the adults laugh, except for two. Maria was pushing the food around on her plate. She was too deep in thought about last night, to see or hear anything else. Georg was getting on with his breakfast, but he too was in deep thought, he'd noticed since Maria sat down to the table she hadn't said a word, and knew this was not her, since the day he met her she always been cheery, outgoing, outspoken, but why not now, what has he done to her, it all kept going round and round in his head, oh he knew he was going suffer a bagging headache by the end of the day.

Maria felt how dry her throat was. She quickly reached for her glass of water, and she unconsciously let her eyes find the man sitting across from her, and then it happened.

The Captain had been looking at her, watching her. Trying to understand why she was acting so unlike herself, sitting quietly in her chair and hardly touching her food. Maria couldn't tear her eyes away. They were glued. His eyes were warm and questioning, willing her to tell him something. Maria felt at ease looking into his eyes. She felt-safe. It was comfortable, and she temporarily forgot what was troubling her. Maria smiled slightly. He smiled back. His smile made something snap in Maria and she looked away.

Gretl then spoke up and asked her father and Maria how their night was, there was silence to the table with heads turning into both their directions, they didn't know what to say, but both trying not to bring too much attention to the subject, quickly answered "lovely, thank you". Then the rest of the question came, where did they go, what did they do, wasn't it too cold for picnics at night…and so on, this brought both Georg and Maria away from their thoughts for a while answering the children's questions the best they could, but as they did the tension was not un noticed by the adults or Liesl.

A couple of hours later, Maria was sitting in the living room in a daze, she never noticed the figure that just walked in the room until they put a hand to her shoulder, she jumped a bit at the touch. "Are you alright my dear?" said Elizabeth. The last person Maria was expecting to ask about her wellbeing, ok Elizabeth apologized but the words and hurt was still there, and she put them there. "Yes, of cause, why do ask" said Maria. "Well you been off in your own little world all day" now going to sit on the couch just opposite Maria, "and I'm starting to worry why?" Maria sat there dumbstruck at first, was she hearing right Elizabeth worried about her, she couldn't believe it. "Well I'm just deep in thought, that's all" answered Maria, not wanting to give anything a way. Elizabeth now learnt something about this girl, yes she was very outspoken when she wanted to be, but when she didn't want to reveal anything about her feeling, she closed up, "how did Liesl do it", Elizabeth said to herself, still watching Maria now tensing up as if she wanted to run for her life, "how did Liesl get her confess all". She said to herself again.

Then it hit her, boys, if there was one thing Elizabeth did know about Liesl that everything had to with boys, she always had that dreamy look about her, where ever she was, the dining room table, the garden, looking out her bedroom window, or just even walking down the street, you could tell the dreamy look was all about boys, love and thought back to the night of the party, she started to feel bad again for how she went at Maria, but she didn't want the girl to get hurt, she started to think of Maria as the daughter she never had, and that meant looking out for her, even if at the time it was the wrong way. Elizabeth got up from the couch and went sit on the other next to Maria, and then started her conversation:

Elizabeth started: "I was eighteen when I met him" Maria looking up and now paying attention to the carried on: "at first I thought… I was being silly, a school girls crush and all that, but when he started to pay attention to me…and only me, that was it, I was taken of guard, every time I see him I go weak at the knees, I shake all over when I see him, I'd even stutter if I spoke to him. And then one day he kissed me, and I felt like I was… floating on air, that northing could touch me. He was er… strapped for cash, one evening when we went out, he told me that we over spent more than he thought we would, I said I'd get the bill, I should of seen it right there and then, he didn't even offer to pay for half, but I let it pass, being so in love", Elizabeth now laughed at herself, "but after their tenth time… you'd click in.. wouldn't you, but no not me.

I had friends telling me he was no good… but I wouldn't listen, I was to struck, and a dam fool, we'd spent a couple of nights together, half way thought our relationship… and then it happened" Elizabeth took a deep breath, knowing she never went this far in her life, never telling anyone not even her husband, why has she always been so hurtful to others, but what she didn't know there, now were two people outside the door, listening on every word.

"when I told him, he laugh at me, he called me a whore, cheap, easy, I was in floods of tears, I didn't know what to do, I just stood there took what he said, he told me he wanted nothing to do with me" Elizabeth now in tears, "to get rid of it, but I couldn't, I couldn't," Maria now placing her arm around Elizabeth shoulders to comfort her, "It wasn't my way, Elizabeth now crying hard and shaking as she spoke, I could never do anything like that" "like what?" asked Maria, Elizabeth now turned towards her looking into Maria eyes "to have an abortion" Elizabeth was now in floods of tears, Maria just stared at her not knowing what to say, but held her tight still comforting her. Elizabeth broke the silence, "two weeks later I saw him out with someone else, it upset me so much that when I returned home, I…I….started to…oh god Maria… I had a miscarriage". Maria now understood, why Elizabeth laughs at the word love.

She'd been hurt, not just used, and chucked a side, but she also lost something very special, a part of her and it tore at her for years. Elizabeth quickly grabbed Maria hand and pulled it to her rest on her knee, so she was holding it tight, and now looking at her and said "Maria, forgive me please, forgive me… for what I said to you the night of the party, not just telling you to leave, but also before that, he'd never think of you like that, EVER. I was just being mean and selfish, I wanted to hurt you because, I could see, that you were getting something I've always longed for." "But you have that with Alfred… he really does worship you, you know" said Maria. "Yes I know… and I could never understand why, I haven't really been a good wife to him… have I?" said Elizabeth. "Maybe not, but he's never pushed you a way, has he" Maria spoke again Elizabeth shook her head and saying a very fait "no". The ladies now catching the shadows in the door, and looking up saw Alfred and Georg standing there.

Alfred walked towards Elizabeth and Maria and with his arms out in front of him, motioned for Elizabeth to be in them. Feeling they should be left alone, Maria stood from her seat and walked over Georg, now standing next to him and turning back to look at the couple hold onto each other for dear life, they both smiled, and both turned to leave, to leave them alone.

Georg and Maria were now sitting on the stairs watching the sitting room door making sure, that no one would interrupt his parents well they have their heart to heart, which was very long overdue. Georg broke the silence, "you know you really… don't have to sit with me… if you rather be somewhere else" just trying make small talk with little shake in his voice, not knowing how to act. "it's alright, I really don't mind, I'd rather be hear after what you mother just said, just In case, thing's er… get a bit heated between the two" said Maria with a quick glance and smile, which he returned.

They remade just sitting there for a moment until, "how did you, do it?" asked Georg. Maria looked towards him a little confused; he helped her out by finishing "my mother, how did you… get her… to… come out with all that". "I don't know really, she just started and I listened" said Maria. "Yes, one of your… many… talents you have" said Georg trying to find the words. "I guess she just needed someone to talk too" answered Maria. "And you are very easy to talk too; I wish I had that talent." Replied grog; staring ahead. "You do" answered Maria "do I?" he asked, "yes" she said now looking at her hands in her lap. "Then why do I feel… I can't get you to open up to me?" he questioned. "Maybe the moment never seemed right" she answered. "Is the moment right now?" he asked "maybe, it all depends on what you want to know" she said. Not really wanting to just come out with her feeling but really didn't want to push him away.

"What did she say, too you the night of the party?" he asked, but now scared of pushing her.

"Georg, you have to remember that night, was very tense for all of us… and your mother just opened up to a part of her past that that she carried with her… all her life" her voice sounding worried to what she was about to reveal.

"Does that mean you not ready to tell me?" he asked trying to sound playful, but showing he wanted an answer.

"Promise me you won't lose your temper with her, not now, not ever" he stared a head for a moment then answered.

"For you" he paused and looked at her catching her eye, "I promise" he finished. Maria believing him, started,

"Well she… started a part of her story that night, but she never went few that kind of emotion, she held that in, she told me she didn't believe in love and it could never exist. I think she could read right though me, she knew… what I was feeling… and to hurt me she played on that" Georg tensed now knowing that what she was about to say was not good, but he tried to relax for her, he promised and he was determined to keep that promise, Maria noticed this, and pause before she saw him relax again, but only a bit, she turned slightly towards him and said, "Will you keep you promise?"

Georg looked towards her and answered "whatever promise I make to you, I will always keep" she believed him and it made her continue, "she said… that I will…er…I will always be… nothing but a… brought whore to you" she said shaking and shuddering the words. Georg grit his teeth, and his hand and come in to tight fists, the only thing that was going through his mind now to calm him was he'd promised, he promised her, he do whatever she asked and that was calming even though, the feeling was going though him to lash out, he'd never hit a woman in his life and never wanted to, but he did right now and his own mother. Maria sat quite taking in his reaction, and she so wanted to reach out and grab his hands to calm him, but she didn't she just watched.

Georg turned towards her now and raising his hand to cup her cheek, to look in her eyes to make her believe what he was about to say, "Maria, the one thing you will never be to me… is a brought whore, your much more than that to me, you came into my home against you own will… and mine, but from the moment you did, you lit it up, you saved me, my children and now my parents, against all the hurt you were going though, you still thought to put others first before yourself, and you see", he started to tremble shake a little now" I…er I… for that… I found myself falling in love with you, just for you, just for who you are;" tears were starting to show in Maria eyes, she was going to hear what she wanted from a man she too fell in with. "a strong loving caring beautiful woman, who I want by my side for the rest of my life, if you have me" there were tears now falling down Maria's cheeks, and Georg now with both hands started to wipe them away softly. Maria answered him, "Oh…thank god… I thought…last night… I though I'd lost you… oh… I… of cause I'll have you".

And with that she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. When Maria moved away, they both locked eyes and then they both moved in closer and kissed, both knowing now how they feel for one another, there were no more worries or thoughts about started to kiss away her tears, and whispered to her and asked "Maria, will you marry me". She moved away slightly to look him in the eyes and said "On one condition, captain" he looked at her with his eyebrows raised, now wondering what this condition was, and she told him, "only if the children are happy for me to be their new mother" he smiled to himself knowing how his children felt about her, and just before he kissed her again.

There came a sound above them, "That a yes" it was Liesl voice, with giggles following. They were both caught off guard and turned to see; seven very happy faces peering over the banister and looking down at them smiling. Knowing now that every one of his children; was happy with the fact of Maria becoming a part of the family. He turned Maria back to face him and said "I take that as yes then fraulein?" and she answered with a "yes captain". Ending it with a sealed kiss, and the children; now cheering and dancing around celebrating like crazy above.





:) :) :) :)