A/N: Wow, I wasn't expecting a review! Well, thank you, kind reader, for your wonderful, encouraging words. This one's for you. :) I love reviews. On another note, I'm kind of shooting in the dark here. I've never actually seen Pirate Queen on stage, but I can sing the entire soundtrack for you. I'm trying very hard to keep these lovely characters themselves, but having about three songs per person makes in a little hard. Feedback much appreciated. :)
He shook his head once more, pushing her away a little less than gently. "Go away, Grania. You are to marry Donal tomorrow. It is not good for you to be here. With me." Try as he might, he couldn't keep the other man's name from sounding like a sneer when he pronounced it.
She grasped his hand tightly. "This...this could be our last night together." Her hand came up to rest on his cheek, and though he told his body no, he leaned into her touch, craving more.
"No, Grania," he insisted, pulling away from her. "We had our last night before you announced your engagement." He had only felt the brush of her hand since that night, but still he could recall with painful clarity the passion, the heat; Grania around him, on him, everywhere, pushing, pulling him farther and further away from the rest of the world until only Grania remained...
Tiernan shook his head to clear it, stepping away from her again, cursing his over eager body.
"You know I do not wish to do this."
"Then don't," Tiernan told her once more, all the venom and anger and heat the statement was originally delivered with now gone. "The choice is yours, you said so yourself."
"I have a duty," she retorted stubbornly. "To my father. To my clan. To Ireland." She paused. "Yes. The choice was mine, and I have made it."
"Well this choice is mine, and I have made it," Tiernan told her firmly. "Go find your fiancé - I hear he likes to sleep around, and what's one night early?"
He regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth, especially as he watched Grania's face. To the untrained eye, no reaction would be visible, but Tiernan knew better. The slight twitch of her lips betrayed the hurt she felt, the higher frequency of blinks showed the defiant anger that boiled up inside.
"Grace- Grania, " he corrected quickly. "I'm sorry. I...I didn't mean..."
She shrugged. "If that's how you feel," she muttered, turning to leave, the hunch of her usually so proud shoulders telling Tiernan he couldn't leave it like this.
"Grania, wait," he said, catching her shoulder to spin her back around. She shook him off, but he grabbed both of her shoulders and pushed her against the wall so that she was facing him.
"Let me go!" she demanded, pushing half-heartedly against his hands that pinned her shoulders against the wall. "Tiernan!"
"Shh," he told her, bringing one hand up to push her hair back. "I will never leave you," he murmured, taking her hands in his as she stopped struggling. "I will always be there for you."
She studied his face, as if trying to judge if there was a lie hidden there. "Really?"
Squeezing her hands gently, he nodded. "You'll need me one day. I would rather watch you marry a hundred other men than be away from you."
A brief pause, and then her beautiful laughter. "Let's just start with this one, alright?"
He laughed too, despite his anger. "As you wish." Perhaps he shouldn't have, but he pulled her into tight hug, clinging to her nearly as desperately as she clung to him.
"But Grania...please don't ask things of me I cannot give. Don't make this any harder than it already is."
"I understand," she replied, pulling away. "Thank you." Then, almost as an afterthought, "I love you."
Hard to believe, he thought, but smiled all the same. "And I love you." More than you will ever know.