On the move

Serenity was too stunned, feeling torn beyond description. She desired to see her mistress and the new babe healthy but not like this. Before she could speak, Josiah returned. He knocked, entered, and stood aghast at the site of Abigail nibbling on the arm. Shaking it off, he softened his tone. "Get her ready, we need to move... now!"

~ ~ ~ ~

There was a lot of commotion ahead, so the group decided they'd duck into a side passage almost entirely out of sight and something they could secure should they need to and wait it out. The Ashen were nervous, but Gill remained calm. "It'll be fine," he told everyone, "the path will be clear in few minutes and then we must move quickly. We'll be safe here, regroup and rest. You'll all need your strength." Most of the Ashen seemed to find some comfort in his words and relaxed taking turns on watch.

Connor motioned to Emma to retreat deeper into the cavern with him. He looked weary, even in the dim light, wearier than she'd seen him ever before. She tried to speak, but he silenced her gently. It wasn't with his words, it wasn't with a halting hand, it was by his lips pressed to hers. The kiss was slow, serene, and felt like the final words on the matter.

Emma was stunned. There had been so many times this had almost happened before. So many nights in his arms where that and more could have been and hadn't. So many teary moments, as she wept on his shoulder and had yearned for it to be more, thinking it would soothe her sorrow and satisfy her desire. But always, every time, he'd clearly held back. But not now... and that scared her.

He stared deep into her eyes. "I'm sorry. I know we were near that so many times and for so many reasons we both wanted it and didn't. There is so much I want to say and can't. I need you to know that... that I love you and your happiness is my one and only goal. So whatever happens next... just remember that." He squeeze her hands tenderly.

Before Emma could speak, Gill spoke up. "It's time to move... NOW!"

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