Story [Jack the Giant Slayer] Between Heaven and Earth *Updated!!

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by serendipityaey, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 24, 2004
    Title: Between Heaven and Earth
    Author: Ashley
    Fandom: Jack the Giant Slayer
    Characters: Elmont, OC
    Genre: Romance
    Disclaimer: I don't own, and I don't make any money.
    Summary: After the biggest challenge of his career, Elmont has nothing else to do accept return home alone. He may not be the hero, but he will be there until the end. He takes care of the kingdom, the land, his men, the king and, above all, the princess. But who takes care of him?

    Between Heaven and Earth
    ~ Ask not whence the thunder comes ~

    Cold rain fell in sheets from a ominous, threatening sky. Gusts of tumultuous wind were heralded by flashes of blinding light and rolling booms of thunder. The sound had always frightened her when she was younger, and now she knew why. Every child had heard the stories; no longer silly fairy tales, but nightmares come true.

    Huddling in her thick traveling cloak, Elleree Rowan pulled her hat down further and dipped her head to keep her face from getting wet.

    Only a fool would be out in this weather, at this time of night...she thought wryly.

    He was the only one, but he did...Elmont did make her feel foolish. Completely disarmed. Because of his wit and his charm, the way he looked at her and his heart...his good, good heart. Despite every sarcastic, know-it-all comment that fell from his lips, this she had known from the beginning and it had both fascinated and intimidated her, drew her to him like a moth to flame and compelled her to flee, over and over, unsure. Unworthy.

    But she could think only of Elmont's good heart right now. Was it broken? She couldn't bear the thought. But she knew - she hadn't seen but she had heard - and she knew he had lost men. Many men. Husbands and fathers. Friends. And she knew his heart would be broken, bleeding for each of them.

    The biting rain seemed to fall harder and heavier the closer she came to his home. Were she the superstitious type she might consider the horrid storm a bad omen but thank God above, she was not. And she was determined to see him.

    Mud squelched beneath her sturdy boots, more so as she left the main township headed toward his small farming estate. The land had been owned by his noble family for generations and he kept a home there, one of the smaller houses, although he had quarters in the castle as well.

    But the castle was almost entirely destroyed. She had seen that and she knew he was not there tonight.

    As she approached the house, indeed, she saw the lanterns were lit on the main floor, yellow light spilling from the windows into the night, and she felt a rush of relief mixed with a touch of anxiety.

    It never seemed he was ever very happy to see her at first. An image of his handsome face schooled in that expression she was so accustomed to - the disapproving frown - flashed in her mind and she couldn't help the quirk of her lips. When he was pretending to be upset with her, that was when she liked him the most - haughty and so damn attractive. But she could not blame him if he was in a fearsome mood tonight. So nearly, they had almost lost it all, and he carried the weight of it on his shoulders alone.

    Well, at least he hadn't reason to arrest her in quite awhile, but they had not even spoken in weeks. She swallowed, hoping at least she wouldn't have to fight too hard to get him to let her in.

    Careful not to make any sound, Elleree took a deep breath and gathered her resolve as she came upon his door. Whether he liked it or not, she was here. And she was going to make sure he would be okay.

    AN: Thank you for reading, please let me know what you think! More coming soon...
    laloga likes this.
  2. Gkilkenny

    Gkilkenny Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ok I loved him as Elmont and his sarcastic wit shone through and he even has a sword as such. I hope Elleree makes him happy. He sounds like he's sad and she wants to ease his pain.^:)^
    serendipityaey likes this.
  3. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    I like this! So far your OC is interesting to read about, and your writing has a wonderful, flowing quality to it. =D= I can't wait to learn more about Elleree - and see how things go with her and Elmont. [face_love]
    serendipityaey likes this.
  4. laloga

    laloga Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 28, 2011
    So glad to see this here! Love the setup: the rain, the squelching mud (fantastic detail) and Elleree's determination to help the man she cares about get through what she knows is a difficult time for him. @};-

    In addition to that, though, is her own desire to be near him, (and who can blame her? ;)), which you portray beautifully. [face_love]

    Lovely opening! Definitely leaves me wanting more. [face_love]
    serendipityaey likes this.
  5. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 24, 2004
    Gkilkenny I loved him as Elmont as well! I think it will be a learning curve, but Elleree does really want to make him happy, and ease some of that pain [face_love] Thank you so much for the review! @};-

    Mira_Jade Thank you! :) I'm so glad you're enjoying it, I really appreciate your comments! Building a new character is one of the things I love most about writing. Thanks for the kind words! @};-

    laloga Thank you! [:D] I love the rain, had to include all the details here! Elleree has a lot of determination I think, and she knows what she wants right now, as challenging as it may prove to be. But true caring will spur her on. Thanks for the review [face_love]

    ~Through the Wind and Rain~​

    After the first knock on the thick wooden door of Elmont's home, Elleree felt a swell of irritation starting to rise in replace of her nerves. She swore she had heard him moving around inside, yet he did not come to answer. The knave! The least he could do was open his door to see if someone needed help. It was a storm, after all, a townsperson could be stranded, in need of shelter or aid!

    Lifting her arm, she gave a little huff as she prepared to knock again, louder, but a gust of wind nearly blew her hat away and she had to catch it, pressing the soaked material to her head until the wind abated.

    Good heavens, she thought. It was nasty out here. Perhaps he simply hadn't heard the knock over the din of wind and rain.

    With one hand on top of her head, just in case, she knocked with the other, rapping her knuckles harder than before, and when he still didn't answer, she gritted her teeth and began to pound with the flat of her fist, banging on the door.

    Finally it swung open and Elmont stood in front of her, framed in the doorway, the golden light from inside highlighting his form. His armor was gone; instead he wore a simple black fitted tunic and trousers, indicating he'd been home alone for awhile at least.

    Eyes wide, he looked startled to find someone at his door, but his expression turned to a scowl and then deepened as his gaze fell upon her face in the darkness. She was sure she looked an absolute mess but she didn't care and she stood stock still, chin lifted as he took in her drenched appearance from head to toe.

    "What in the blaze's of hell are you doing out here?" He said, voice raised. One hand still on the door, he leaned toward her, his gaze lifting to the sky as if he was only just realizing how temperamental the weather had become, before he ducked back inside, fixing his stare on her again.

    Elleree frowned, her hands clenching at her sides. Foolish. It was foolish to come out here. But she quieted the voice in the back of her mind, telling herself she had known he'd be in a sour mood, and understandably so.

    "I'm waiting for you to answer the door," she said, her voice even. "That's what I'm doing out here."

    "Rowan..." He made a noise that sounded something like a growl, though she couldn't be sure and he looked entirely torn between slamming the door in her face and pulling her in to the safety and warmth of his home.

    Then he sighed and Elleree had to repress a small smile. This was what she knew about Elmont, above all else - he could not resist doing the right thing.

    "Well, come on," he said, stepping aside and waving her in. "Get inside before you catch your death out there." As she stepped over his threshold she couldn't help sneaking another glance in his direction and she watched as he ran a hand through his unruly hair.

    "I don't need any more -"

    The sentence was left unfinished but she could guess at what he was thinking and it strengthened her determination. As she had suspected, he was carrying the weight of every person that had lost their life as if he had swung the sword himself on each of them. It had been almost a week, and he was still haunted.

    Inside, she took off her hat and lifted her fingers to the ties on her cloak while he closed the door behind her.

    "You can stay until the storm lets up. Then you should leave."

    As he spoke, he sat down at his table where dinner was laid out. His back was turned to her, but she could see the tension in his shoulders and felt it radiating through the room.

    "I thought we could do some catching up," she said brightly, shaking her cloak off before hanging it up, along with her satchel. "I've missed you, Elmont." Her voice was light, teasing as she hoped to lift the mood but Elmont did not respond.

    This is not going to be easy. But life had never been easy for her and she had never been one to back down from a challenge.

    For a moment, Elleree stood in the entryway; she brushed her hands over her jacket, making sure it was not too damp, and then her hair.

    Smoothing her fingers over the length of her long plait, she felt her hair was soaked and the usually light auburn strands were a darker brunette from the rain. Despite her well-made hat, the top of her head was wet as well. With one hand, she wrung some of the wetness from her plaited hair without thinking, and drips of water fell to the wood floor.

    For a brief moment, Elmont glanced up at her - disapproving frown - before returning to his dinner, without a sound.

    Sighing to herself, Elleree rubbed her palms on her trousers to dry them, and she took a quick perusal of the room.

    A fire was roaring in the hearth, and it filled the space with heat. Along with the fire, the lanterns and a few candles were lit around the modest room and it gave the setting a warm, homey feel, a haven against the raging storm outside.

    Elleree thought it was kind of romantic. Though she didn't think that sentiment would be shared.

    Still, he deserved to have someone listen, a friend to help shoulder the burden if only for awhile, so she stepped toward him and when he continued to ignore her, she invited herself to his table.

    "I wasn't sure you would even see me," she said, sitting down across from him. "After last time -"

    "You left me little choice," he interrupted without looking up as he took another bite of dinner. "As usual. You shouldn't have come."

    Elleree frowned, sitting back in her chair. "That's not very nice."

    His expression was hard, blue eyes guarded and unforgiving and she realized this might be even more difficult than she'd imagined. "I'm not in the mood, Rowan."

    "I didn't come here to antagonize you," she said, her voice quiet, serious.

    "Well I'm not in the mood for anything you have to offer, so you may as well leave me be."

    That hurt. Even through their disagreements, and despite their - dalliances - she had considered him a friend, so she tried to remind herself he was only feeling this way because he hurt.

    When she said his name, she tried to make it clear she cared, that she wanted to help, that she would open up to him if he did the same, but her voice was impossibly soft and held much more emotion than she intended. "John..."

    Something in the way she said it, or maybe just the fact that she had used his given name seemed to work and he finally met her eyes, his own full of sorrow and pain.

    She knew then that she had reached him, but the expression on his face was enough even to break her own tightly locked away heart.


    AN: So...I went out on a limb, and I gave Elmont a name! Honestly this was one of the first scenes that came to me, and that was the name that she said :) I imagine as knights it would be customary to go by last names, and especially names like 'Crawe' and 'Wicke' seem more like last names to me, so I went with it. Many thanks to laloga for beta-ing this story for me. Please review!
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  6. Gkilkenny

    Gkilkenny Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2004
    It seems like she has a task ahead of her making him smile.
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  7. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 16, 2005
    Oh, HERE"s where this story is hiding (under a beanstalk a/k/a non-Star Wars fiction). Very, very nice start.
    serendipityaey likes this.
  8. laloga

    laloga Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 28, 2011
    Sigh. Love the rain, and the image of poor 'Ree all soaking wet, but still hoping to offer Elmont a bit of comfort. I love that she seeks to make him feel better as a friend, though it's clear she's attracted to him.

    Wonderful job with his gruffness; poor guy has lost so much, and is clearly in need of someone who wants to make him smile. I think Elleree is more than ready for the task ahead. :) @};-

    His name - John - fits perfectly, and your reasoning is sound. I love that she whispers it, and how that one moment tips the scale in her favor, allowing her to see that yes, he really does need her, and letting her know that she was right to come. [face_love]
  9. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 24, 2004
    Gkilkenny Absolutely! And she's willing to do whatever it takes, because she's realized how much she does truly care for him [face_love] Thanks for commenting! [:D]

    Valairy Scot I think Elmont is a sneaky one, he could be hiding anywhere...ready to pounce [face_whistling] I'm glad you like so far! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing @};-

    laloga She is trying to be the best she can, for him [face_love] First, that means being there as a friend, but that door is open for more, I think they both know... Along the way, I think there have been lots of little steps in their relationship...I imagine anyway... bringing them a little closer together, bit by bit...but now Elleree sees that the opportunity is there to take a leap. I think all the steps along the way were just as important, though, to her seeing that she does care for him, and wants nothing else. I'm so, so happy his name seems to have gone over okay! What a worry! It felt like a risk, I do hope it works. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate hearing it @};-

    AN: Just returned from mini-vacation! Thanks for reading so far...there might be a kiss coming soon... :* Please let me know what you think!

    ~A Perilous Place~​
    "Crawe was killed."
    The tone of Elmont's voice was gruff, roughened with grief, and Elleree had to swallow past the sudden lump in her throat.
    Along with many other men, she knew. "I'm so sorry."
    She'd heard all the stories at the Tavern & Inn that she ran with her Uncle and it hadn't surprised her that so many men, Crawe included, had lost their lives, but somehow hearing it from Elmont was so different, so much more. He had seen it happen. Felt it all the way to his core.
    "And Bray and Holt," he added, his voice thick with emotion. "Holt...his wife just had a baby."
    Inchoate tears pricked in the corners of her eyes, hot and sharp, but Elleree took a swift breath, doing her best to harden her heart, trying to be strong, for him.
    As she watched, his face fell, brow knitting as the full weight of what happened seemed to fall on him all at once.
    The feeling was not unfamiliar to her - the hopelessness of the tragedies in life that could not be avoided, no matter how hard you worked, or wished or prayed.
    But there was nothing to be done for it, except to endure. He had helped her endure a bad turn once or twice in her life and she wanted nothing more than to return the favor, but the right words seemed so hard to find.
    "I'm sorry, Elmont. I know they were good friends and...excellent Guardians, as well. Good men."
    Elmont nodded, his expression seeming very far away. But he shook it off in the next moment, scrubbing his hand over his face and stubbled jaw. Eyes that had turned soft with remembrance cooled once more and his features relaxed as he schooled himself to calm.
    Elleree took a breath. As always with them, a step forward and one backward, a never-ending dance. At least he'd shared a little of his grief.
    For a while he didn't say anything, and she let the peace of the setting wash across her. The events that had come to pass here had seemed to affect her in many ways; she had changed. In the past week Elleree had noticed she was far more on edge than usual, for one.
    But sitting here with him, even despite the tension between them, was nice, and it helped her to relax. The room was warm, and she was - almost - dry and she was determined to lift his spirits, if only just a little, if only for tonight. And honestly, there was no one else in the world she'd rather be spending time with.
    After a few minutes of quiet, Elleree took a breath and broke the silence. "The food looks good," she smiled.
    He was mostly done with his own meal, but there was a little meat and some roasted potatoes left on a platter in the center of the table and the smell of the food he had made was enticing. Though she didn't think he had much opportunity, especially when he stayed in the castle so often, he was a surprisingly good cook. Just another skill he had mastered, she supposed.
    In reply, he sighed quietly, but it was more resigned now than irritated and he finally looked up at her. "Would you like some? There's a little left over."
    "If it's no trouble," she answered.
    "No trouble," he replied and he rose to retrieve a plate from the cabinet before serving her a small cut of seasoned meat, some potatoes and a piece of bread.
    While Elmont sipped at his ale, Elleree ate slowly, savoring the taste of the food. Most of her childhood she'd been very, very poor and at times, very alone - both of which circumstances that had contributed to her propensity for stealing, much to Elmont's continued dismay - but, she thought, had also contributed to her love of food, as well. Though she was able to make a living for herself now, thanks to her Uncle's help, and she was never near starving, not anymore, she could never turn down food and she would never sit down to a meal without taking the time to fully enjoy and appreciate each bite.
    And now that she was nearly respectable she tried to keep from thieving as well...but honestly some of those silly Nobles had more coin than they even knew what to do with while there were still children starving every day. So sometimes she gave the rich a helping hand with their charity...and just hoped that Elmont wasn't around to catch her.
    Of course he understood her motives, and she suspected he agreed with her at least on some level, but he had a job to do as well, and she could hardly fault him for that. Nor could she ask him to be anyone other than who he was.
    But none of that seemed to matter so much in the wake of the brutal attack on their home. And Elleree found herself, in a way she never had before, wanting to find a true common ground with the noble knight.
    Another way she had changed in the past week. She'd been heading out on her way to find him, through the wind and the rain, before she could think twice about it.
    As if he was reading her mind, Elmont spoke up then, his voice low, but softer than before. "Why did you come out here, Ree?"
    She was quiet for a moment before she answered, chewing and swallowing a bite of bread. "I wanted to see you. I know - we don't always see eye to eye, but I do consider you a friend. And I thought you might need someone to listen."
    He nodded, but otherwise did not reply. And she ate, the fire crackling behind them.
    Oh," she said suddenly, remembering the peace offering she had brought. "And I made sweet bread; the kind you like." Elleree cast him a warm look as she stood up to cross the room and collect the bread from her satchel. "I thought you might - well, I wanted to bring you some... Extra sweet," she added with a wink when she came back to sit down again.
    A small smile curved his lips for a moment, and he indicated his thanks with a nod as she set the sweet bread, wrapped in cloth, on the tabletop. Though he still hadn't said much, she returned his smile and she felt the tension between them ease, if only a little.
    When Elmont did speak again, she couldn't help but notice his tone had returned to something much closer to what she was used to, the lilt of his upper-English accent signifying his position, both in name and station, and some of the authority he liked to often remind her of had been regained in his voice.
    "Steal anything recently?"
    Accustomed to this line of questioning, Elleree knew he expected an honest answer, but she also knew he wasn’t entirely serious and she could sense the query was partly in jest.
    "Mmm, not today..." She could not help but tease back, her voice even. "Though looting could have been quite -"
    He gave her that look - disapproving frown - and she quieted right away.
    "No," she answered, trying not to grin.
    "Good," he retorted, with that haughty, I'm-in-charge-here expression that she loved more than anything else.
    Features set, he was trying she knew, trying so hard to be stern with her, but Elleree could not help herself and the corners of her mouth began to lift. When she caught his blue eyes, the glint in them was unmistakable and to her great joy he cracked.
    The smile they shared was enough to change everything.
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    This was beautiful - your portrayal of Elmont's grief was very real, as was watching Elleree trying to get through to him. That last line was perfect. [face_love]

  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Ashley! I was browsing through the main NSWFF story threads and found your name and clicked instantly. @};- Oh, how I like these characters and the setting you paint so vividly. =D= They're so likable and endearing individually and as friends and a potential ;) couple. I like Elleree very much, starting with her pretty name. :D As usual, your skill with words make me feel I've known these characters always and live in their world. :cool: And here all this time I thought you were just an Obi specialist LOL [:D] Please tag when you update again. [face_batting]
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  12. Gkilkenny

    Gkilkenny Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2004
    "Steal anything recently?"

    Accustomed to this line of questioning, Elleree knew he expected an honest answer, but she also knew he wasn’t entirely serious and she could sense the query was partly in jest.

    "Mmm, not today..." She could not help but tease back, her voice even. "Though looting could have been quite -"

    He gave her that look - disapproving frown - and she quieted right away.

    "No," she answered, trying not to grin.

    "Good," he retorted, with that haughty, I'm-in-charge-here expression that she loved more than anything else.

    Ha! I could imagine the rise in his eyebrows at her comments.^:)^
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  13. laloga

    laloga Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 28, 2011
    So lovely! Wonderful to see her determination to help him through this trauma; more than that, though, I love how she just wants to be with him just to spend time with this man. They seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company, which is the hallmark of a great relationship. [face_love]

    I've said this before, but I love how you showed Elleree's love of food and tied it into her past; it's a very realistic portrayal and makes your OC all the more interesting. Great work! :D
    serendipityaey and Jade_eyes like this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    All I can say LOL ^:)^ is that if Elleree wasn't in the original movie, she should've been. :cool: =D= Just like Aala should've been in the PT and OT. @};- [:D] !!
    serendipityaey and laloga like this.
  15. laloga

    laloga Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 28, 2011
    Second that, Jade_eyes! [face_love]
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  16. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 24, 2004
    Mira_Jade Thank you so much! I'm happy it felt real! The crux of this story is about Elmont's grief and Elleree's desire to help him, as best she can [face_love] Thank you for leaving a review! I really appreciate it

    Jade_eyes Yay! I'm glad you found it! Thank you for always being so sweet, it means a ton to me [:D]Such great compliments! Thank you so much for all of them. I'm glad you like Elle and El on all those levels, I do try really hard to make sure the depth of the characters I write show in all those ways. When I was looking for Old English names, I came across Elleree and stopped there, it was just so perfect for her. Obi is certainly my speciality! :D It's many ways Elmont feels so much like Obi just in a different time and setting and Ewan plays him just as brilliantly.

    Sadly she is not in the movie! At least not visibly, but perhaps in Elmont's heart [face_love] Thank you so much for the kind words and the review!

    Gkilkenny Mmmm, I loved the raised brow and that glint in his eyes! So glad you liked! Thank you a ton for the review! [face_love]

    laloga Thank you! I agree, on a very basic level, she just wants to be near him and it creates a lovely bond between them that neither begs for more or makes any demands, but still it draws and keeps them together. Thank you for the comments! It means a lot [:D]

    ~When coming home, don't take too long~
    The tension that had seemed to fill the room upon her arrival all but dissipated with their shared smile and Elleree couldn't help but give a quiet, relieved sigh.

    Everything about Royal Guardian John Elmont made her feel so unsure of herself - of her feelings, about what she wanted, and who she thought she should be - but when he smiled at her, she felt...right. Like...all that she was, all that happened, was exactly as it was supposed to be. Somehow, her life made sense.

    In the past days since the attack, Elleree had hardly been able to think of anything except him and she found herself wanting nothing but to be near to him. A real connection to another person was a difficult thing to find in this world, at least it always had been for her and for the first time she wanted to explore the possibility, however remote, with Elmont.

    Although tonight she had come to his home for the purpose of making sure he was alright as his friend - in her heart, deep down, she knew she wanted so much more. Wanted anything and everything he could give. And wanted to give as much of herself as she could in return, to take care of him, if he would let her.

    And she found she really hoped he would.

    For a few minutes they were quiet. Outside the rain pattered, steady and fierce, against the windows while inside the fire crackled in the hearth. The fury of the storm seemed to heighten the coziness of Elmont’s home, and she wondered if he felt the contentedness that she did in this moment.

    Finished with her meal, Elleree cleared the food and dishes quickly and quietly and poured herself a small measure of ale before she returned to the table, this time taking the seat at Elmont's side.

    A long cleansing breath escaped him when she turned toward him, though he did not look up. Through his glass the ale glistened like gold in the firelight and his gaze was fixed within as if he might find some answer in the swirl of amber liquid.

    But they both knew there simply was none.

    "Those men...were my responsibility," he said. His voice was quiet again, reverent almost but so honest it made her heart clench.

    "Yes." She set her own glass down, fully turning toward him. "But I know you Elmont. I know you did your best, I know you were incredible. And you won, you beat them -"

    "Jack beat them. Jack found the crown.” His voice held no bitterness or remorse, only matter-of-fact. It was very much like Elmont to take no credit, but she knew it was not true.

    "You did it together. You held them - Giants - at bay until Jack was able to get the crown."

    His soft blue eyes had glazed over again, haunted by what had happened in Cloister as he stared ahead at nothing. She could only imagine what he saw in his head.

    How she wished she could just take it all away... But Elleree Rowan knew a thing about suffering. And she knew that what she could do was to simply stand by him until the sharp edges of pain dulled with time, and they would. Eventually.

    Against his thigh, his fingers drummed restlessly, the motion illustrating his own disquiet.

    For a moment she hesitated before she took his hand in her own and she tipped her head to catch his eyes. "I know how painful it must be to lose those men, in that way. But think of the lives that you saved."

    Gently, she squeezed his hand, her small fingers wrapped around his stronger ones and he returned the gesture in agreement. He seemed to gain strength from the connection, and he took a breath.

    "You're right, of course."

    Elleree nodded, as much for him as herself, encouraging, but still wishing there was more she could do or say.

    Unconsciously she rubbed her thumb across his knuckles, but even when she realized what she was doing, she couldn't stop.

    The pad of her thumb drew little circles over his roughened skin, tracing the joints and the line of each long finger. Unbidden, a memory came to mind of these very hands brushing over her own sensitive skin, tender but so sure...

    Her heart skipped.

    Elleree was not in the habit of letting herself sink into memories and daydreams of the time she had spent in his arms. They were moments. Moments of thoughtlessness, of weakness, when neither one of them had been able to resist the inevitable, compelling draw they felt to one another.

    Only a few moments in time, best left alone, in the past.

    But she was beginning to question if those sentiments were only her own fear speaking. What if they could have more, what if it had always been possible? If John were to truly want her, who would dare argue? It was true they were quite far apart in class, but he had never treated her as less than him, even when they had been on opposite sides of the law. Perhaps the only real thing between her and Elmont were the stone walls she had erected herself.

    More often it seemed the memories of them, together, were springing to mind the longer she went without seeing him or even more so if she caught a glimpse of him in the square. Each time it caught her off guard, her breath caught, her pulse leapt... She kind of liked it. She kind of wanted more. But she had no idea how to broach the subject with him, or herself.

    Lost in thought, it startled her a little when Elmont squeezed her hand again. Looking up, she met his eyes which seemed to be questioning silently, and he grinned.

    "I'm sorry." Elleree shook her head, a small smile playing on her lips. "I'm never any good at finding the right words."

    "On the contrary."

    "I'm trying," she said softly. "I wasn't sure if you would want to see me, and I had no idea what I was going to say, but..."

    "But you came anyway."

    "I had to."

    He cocked his head, studying her, eyes bright. She had the feeling he was trying to see right through her and she was sure he was able. It was...a bit disconcerting for her, but not unwelcome. It made her stomach flip-flop and she felt her cheeks heat under his scrutiny.

    "Why?" he asked.

    Elleree swallowed and she found herself playing with his fingers again, though he didn't pull back and that gave her courage. "I was away, but I heard what had happened - and I... I couldn't imagine how you could make it out alive, and I -" She stopped unsure how to finish the sentence. The truth was she had simply needed to see him.

    Another change this week, the biggest one - she found herself truly contemplating what was really important to her. And then she'd ended up here. She knew what that meant even if she couldn't quite admit it yet to herself.

    "Thank you, Elleree. For coming, I - This has been difficult." He paused, and then smiled at her. "Did you really come all this way, in a storm, just to check on me?"

    "I wanted to see you," she admitted, voice quiet. "For myself. And check on you. I owe you after all."

    Perhaps he had leaned toward her, or maybe she had somehow moved on her chair but suddenly she found herself very close to the man beside her.

    "You've never owed me anything, Ree."

    Mesmerized by the intensity of his blue eyes from so close, she watched, hardly breathing as his gaze flicked to her mouth and then back again.

    "On the contrary," she murmured.

    “Well, thank you," he smiled faintly. "I am beginning to feel better.”

    They were so, so close she felt the flutter of his expelled breath on her cheek and he looked at her mouth again.

    Was he going to kiss her? Did she want him to?

    Oh yes. More than anything.

    Somehow he knew. Or maybe, maybe he wanted it himself.

    One strong hand brushed across her shoulder before he slid his fingers along the curve of her jaw. Cupping her face in his palm, she leaned into his gentle touch. The tip of his thumb swept across her lower lip, catching it, and her lips parted to accommodate him.

    "Elleree." It was a whisper, exhaled softly, felt as much as heard, and all she could do was give a little hmm in reply.

    "I'm going to kiss you."

    A fair warning was always nice.

    That is, if her brain was functioning...but it had stopped some time ago and before she could even consider what she might say in reply to that - yes? okay? what's taking you so damn long? - his lips were on hers.

    Warm. Soft. Exactly as she remembered but somehow more, too. His mouth brushed with enticing gentleness across hers, coaxing her along, urging her closer in mind and body and she acquiesced, willingly, a quiet sound of pleasure escaping her throat. She would go wherever he wanted.

    The hand at her jaw slid back to twine within the loose strands at the nape of her neck and the kiss deepened.

    The short hairs of his mustache tickled under her nose as he pressed closer but she hardly noticed and did not care. His tongue touched against her lips; she opened to him and it swept, slowly, through her mouth, across her own tongue and back again. So slow, so gentle. He set her blood aflame and she gave a soft moan as his arm reached around her waist to pull her closer.

    The kiss broke only when they could no longer go on without breathing, but they did not part.

    His eyes seemed to search hers, glittering even in the low light from the fire behind them and his thumb rubbed against the sensitive skin at the back of her neck. "Stay..." he whispered, just enough of a question in his expression to tell her he was as taken off guard by this, by them, as she was. He brushed his lips across hers again.

    Yes. She could not deny how much she wanted to.

    Absolutely breathless, Elleree pulled back to smile at him, and had to clear her throat before she could speak. "I thought you wanted me to leave when the storm let up?"

    When he answered, his voice was just a little deeper. "Then we can hope it goes all night."

    Ohhh, yes... Elleree could not help a little shiver and a swift breath in response. "I think I might be able to stay, in that case."

    Elmont chuckled, his arm shifting to try and pull her a little closer though their positions on separate chairs made it a little awkward. "You 'think?'"

    She knew, and he knew - the pull between them was too strong to deny, when they were alone in his home, with the rain beating on the roof and the fire, both from the hearth and from within, so inviting and comforting. But she kept quiet, not wanting to give up the game just yet.

    And Elmont persisted, his smile making her heart flutter. "Tell me what you came here for."

    "I came here for you," she answered simply. "To lift your spirits."

    "And if you staying is the one thing that will 'lift my spirits?'"

    She wanted to scold him for being so suggestive, but it was too good, too much, too right.

    "But...are you sure? With me?" she asked. The look she gave him was coy, playful. Still there was a part, a huge part of her that could hardly believe this was real, that he wanted to be with her above anyone, everyone else.

    His expression turned though - so genuine and heart-felt; his feelings were undeniable. "Only you, Ree."

    Too good.

    Elleree gathered all the courage she could muster from somewhere deep down inside, because she wished, so greatly, that she could be everything he deserved and wanted.

    "I'm here for you."


    AN: Thank you so much for reading, and please let me know what you think! Especially about the kiss :)
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  17. Gkilkenny

    Gkilkenny Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2004
    Sweet the ice is breaking and they are connecting.
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  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh squee! I'm a sloppy gooey puddle over it that's what. [face_dancing] It felt right as right could be, and I love how Ree contemplates their spontaneous moments in the past at unexpected moments and I am happy she questions the source of her hesitation before. @};- I am very happy they are ready to deepen their relationship at the same time and to the same degree. :D
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  19. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    That was lovely - soft and sweet with just the right amount of tenderness. That kiss was the perfect first kiss - everything just fell into place so beautifully in this chapter. [face_love]

    I can't wait to see where you go from here. =D=
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  20. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 16, 2005
  21. PunkMaister

    PunkMaister Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 12, 2006
    Nice but honestly i'd love to see a fic based right where the movie's ending left off which was the present perhaps with the descendants of Jack and the princess.
  22. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 24, 2004
    Gkilkenny Yes! They are drawn to each other, and after everything that's happened, they can't help but want a deeper connection [face_love] Thank you so much for the review! It means a lot [:D]

    Jade_eyes They've really come together here, and I think they would after something so gigantic happening ;) I loved being able to use this as a moment for two people hesitating to really come together - the best thing about hard times is the way they can bring people together. And yes they're both ready to open their hearts :D So glad you are enjoying this and you like the way it's going! It means a lot to hear from you, thank you so much for the review [face_love]

    Mira_Jade Thank you so much! :D I'm so happy to hear you thought the kiss felt right - I always try to so hard to get them just perfect, and always love to hear what everyone thinks. Thank you so much for the review!! I really hope you continue to enjoy @};-

    Valairy Scot :D So glad you liked it! I have to agree with that sentiment completely (regarding Elmont of course). Thanks for leaving a review! I hope you like the next part as well [:D]

    PunkMaister Thank you for the review! I'm glad you thought it was nice. I think that's a great idea for another fic, maybe you could even take a shot at it! For this particular movie, Elmont has turned out to be my muse and inspiration so I'm not sure I have an idea for that time period or those characters. I did like the way the movie ended as well. Thanks for the review! Hope you continue to like

    AN: I apologize profusely for going so long without an update! I hope everyone can forgive me and I hope you all are still reading. I love each and every one of you! I do have this particular story of Elleree and Elmont finished, so it will be posted in full, I promise, and I hope to write more of them if anyone wants to see more.

    ~Come A Little Bit Closer~​
    "I'm here for you."
    The look Elmont gave her at those words was something quite unlike anything she had ever seen before.
    Full of emotion. Desire. Happiness.
    Brimming full.
    Suddenly Elleree couldn't imagine how they stayed away from each other for so long and she wanted nothing more than to be kissing him again, drawn to him like nothing else in her life.
    But she spoke instead, wanting to say something before she lost herself in him completely. "Let me take care of you...for tonight."
    That was all she wanted right now.
    Elmont smiled at her request, blue eyes closing briefly before he answered her. "Yes."
    Emotion swelled within her chest. In the past, she'd never had the luxury of being able to care for someone else, but she was trying, with everything she had, to change the lonely course her life had been set upon. It was a terrifying prospect for her to open herself to anyone, but Elmont allowing her in - his home and perhaps his heart, as well - was more than she'd ever thought to hope for.
    Without waiting another second, she slid forward on her chair. In her haste to get closer, her knees bumped against his and Elleree shifted so one leg could slide between his thighs, her hands lifting to rest on his chest.
    The grip he had on her waist tightened, assisting Elmont in drawing her to him at the same time his fingers slid further into her hair, pulling her mouth back to press at his.
    Tender, warm, they kissed again and again, and Elleree felt her heartbeat quicken with each passing moment. Flush against his body, she slid her hands to his arms, gripping his biceps to anchor herself to him.
    The closer they came to each other the faster it seemed their desire accelerated. His kisses grew more fervent, almost desperate and Elleree lost herself in the passion that was quickly threatening to overtake them both. It seemed to always be like this, between them. So fast and hot, until nothing else existed. She'd never imagined feelings this strong existed, and she had to admit she'd never even remotely felt attraction like this for anyone else.
    Heat from the flickering fire warmed her skin, but it was nothing compared to him. How easy it would be to lose all her senses to this man and the way he made her feel. There was nothing except his mouth on hers, his hands touching her, his arms and chest so firm beneath her fingers... Breath was a memory she hardly cared to reclaim.
    But surely nothing this perfect could last; it never had for her.
    Finally, Elmont pulled back and her heart stuttered - he would change his mind, of course he would - but then she opened her eyes.
    Strong hands were still wrapped around her, and she realized she was nearly on his lap. Elmont grinned as he took in her appearance, his eyes crinkling. "You look a little flustered."
    Elleree knew her cheeks were flushed and she could hardly breath; she could only imagine what she looked like. Lifting his hand, Elmont pushed some of the strands that had fallen loose of her plait behind her ear and his grin widened.
    "You fluster me," Elleree breathed; she wasn't afraid to admit it. And she smiled back, more than happy to see him let go of some of the sorrow he'd been holding on to.
    Elmont chuckled, leaning away just a bit, and his hands fell away from her. "I'll let you catch your breath."
    "Not now," she teased. "I'm just getting warmed up."
    Though to be honest, Elleree thought she could use a second to regain a bit of her composure. Already this felt different than it had before, and she so much wanted it to be different, more. The thought of losing him for good had thrown everything into clear relief. Though she often tried not to dwell on thoughts of him, she could not deny it anymore. She wanted him.
    And she couldn't stop from touching him. It was obvious he wanted her, as well; though his own natural confidence did not waver.
    "Are you sure it's not you that needs a break?" Elleree asked, dropping one hand to his leg; her palm brushed over his knee and, slowly, her fingertips danced up the length of his muscled thigh, teasing.
    "Oh, I'm quite fine, I assure you," he said, one brow lifting.
    Her fingers slipped higher and she was delighted by the answering gleam in his eye.
    "I'm fine as well."
    "Prepared to be 'there for me'?"
    Oh how she loved when he used that tone of voice, so in control, in command, and how she loved pushing his limits to see what might shake those trappings away.
    "Mmm," Elleree grinned. "Any way you want me."
    To his credit, he did not react to her tease, instead casually leaning back in his chair to reach for his ale. It seemed he had a plan, intent written across his features and she had a feeling she was going to like whatever came next.
    As Elmont looked at her, considering, he took a long drink of ale and emptied the glass. "Strip."
    The glint in his blue eyes and the hint of a smile playing on his lips made her heart beat wildly in her chest, but she tried to maintain some semblance of control, tried to match his calm demeanor even as she suspected he was as eager as her underneath it all.
    Though the urgency she felt to be in his arms was growing stronger, this playful back and forth between them was too good to give up. The times they had been together before had come about so fast and been over so soon, she found now she wanted to make this moment last as long as possible.
    So her reply was only the disbelieving arch of one eyebrow, and as she expected, it did not deter him.
    "If you are in fact doing this for my benefit," he chided, "I think I should be entitled to sit back and enjoy it."
    Well, he had a point. And she didn't mind, not really. Actually...with the way he was looking at her right now she felt like she could do just about anything he asked. Slay a giant even, if he wanted her to. And she delighted in his shift of mood. They needed this.
    So she began...
    Careful not to jar their precarious positions, Elleree managed to scoot her chair back a little so she could stand in front of him. Nimble fingers went to the clasps on the front of her jacket and she removed it within a minute. The buttons down the front of her blouse took longer, and she drew the moment out, letting her fingertips linger on each little cloth-covered stud, slowly parting the material as he watched. When she finished, she shrugged out of her shirt to let it fall to the chair, leaving her in a corset, and a thin chemise under that.
    Not once did she break Elmont's heated gaze, and the longing, the intent she saw within the blue depths gave her purpose even as she shivered under his scrutiny.
    Idly, she smoothed her fingers over the laces of her corset and paused.
    "Shall we move this elsewhere?" Elleree asked, her eyes flicking to the stairway that led to the second floor where his bedroom was.
    "Of course." He cast her a knowing look as he stood.
    Once, she had been here before. The first time...their first time and though it seemed quite a long time ago, she remembered everything about it with vivid clarity. And she knew he had quite a large, comfortable bed upstairs. On a night she had thought she might actually freeze to death, alone in the streets - somehow, instead she had ended up in the warm haven of his arms and his bed. The passion they shared had been exhilarating and alarming all at once, and she would never forget a single detail of it.
    Looking at him now, it was clear to Elleree how affected he was, even as his voice remained even. "It should be nice and warm up there."
    "How thoughtful," she quipped, and she watched as he moved around the room, distinguishing the candles and the few lanterns, each moment the light growing dimmer around them.
    When he finished, he made his way back to her and Elleree's throat caught at how handsome he looked, headed toward her - his hair a little disheveled, his black tunic clinging to his muscled frame.
    She wanted him so badly, but he seemed to be in no rush at all.
    Reaching down, Elmont took her hand in his own, the last lantern in the other, and he led her up the stairs to his room.
    Things are starting to heat up a little! I think they're starting to realize what they really mean to each other ;) Thanks for reading, please let me know what you think
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Ashley, I'll always be here as long as you are. [:D] [:D] Do you know how delicious that was?! Lord, but you do mush exquisitely well. =D= Beautiful and tender descriptions.
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  24. Gkilkenny

    Gkilkenny Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2004
    Oh my, There was so much drooling =P~ going on while I read this hot chapter and my thoughts wandered to his.... She is one very lucky girl.[face_love]
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  25. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    First section. I'm going to try review every section because this story really deserves it.

    I automatically found myself really liking Elleree. From the first couple of paragraphs you put me back in Cloister and gave me a character that I could instantly relate to, even beyond her natural affection for Elmont. I instantly recognized their relationship. The duality of their nature and yet the opposites attract component. Really liked it. I'll talk more on the next section about this. But just wanted to give my imput.
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