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Old 11-21-2005, 10:05 PM   #1
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On the rising tide chapter 18

**Disclaimer – Though inspired in part by people who exist in reality, this story is not meant to represent them in any literal way. No offense is meant to anyone who resembles in any way any of the characters in the story.

On the rising tide Chapter 18

Molly was seated by the fire, her feet propped up on a stool and the shirt she was darning laying on her lap. Her head fell back against the seat as she dozed off mid-stitch.

“We should wake her and send her to bed.” Her father whispered.

“Oh, Seamus, let her rest there for awhile.” Her mother replied. “The poor girl’s exhausted.”

“Of course she is. I’ve tried to tell her she needs to rest…” Seamus replied, his eyes full of sympathy and frustration over his daughters condition.

“If she stops long enough to think, she might not get back up for a very long time.” Mary told her husband soberly. For a long moment the only sound that could be heard was Molly’s deep, steady breathing and the crackle of the fire. Seamus was the first to lift his head and tilt his ear toward the door, hearing the sound of footfalls against the frozen earth outside. Someone was running, hard.

Mary frowned at her husband in question but soon heard it herself as well. The footsteps stopped outside their door, and Mary had to swallow her fear. It was only one person, and not likely a soldier, she reasoned when the knock on the door came. Seamus rose and advanced, his hand on the handle of the door as he called through it for the late night arrival to identify himself.

“It’s Edge, Seamus. I just returned…” He started, but his sentence was interrupted as Seamus threw open the door and embraced Edge as if he were his own long lost son.

“It’s good to have ye home, lad.” He told him, and Edge could hear the sincerity in the man’s voice.

“Edge! Welcome home.” Mary told him, hurrying to embrace him as well, kissing him on the cheek. He saw her wipe a tear from her eye as she turned away, his heart aching desperately for everything this family had suffered while he’d been gone.

“Edge, there’s some things we need to tell you…” Seamus started, one big, rough hand resting on Edges shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze.

“I’ve already heard. My brother Dick told me just now.” He said. He was trying to think of the words he could use to apologize for his associations hurting their daughter, but all thought flew out the window when he heard her voice.

“Edge?” She asked from her seat, blinking tired eyes in disbelief.

“Aye. I’m home.” He told her as he hurried toward her. She climbed out of the chair, her usual grace taken away by a changing body which was becoming rather ungainly. Edge stopped short, his eyes on the protruding mound of belly beneath her dress. The room seemed to spin around him as his mind struggled to understand and accept what he was seeing.

“I’m so sorry.” Molly said, her voice as soft and musical as he remembered, and he frowned at her in confusion.

“Sorry?” He asked, his voice barely a whisper.

“It isn’t what it seems… I… I tried to fight…” She stammered nervously, her eyes studying his handsome face for some sign that he understood. Understood and accepted, understood and hated her, understood what had happened while he was gone.

“Molly!” He said her name on a breath, finally shaking himself out of his shocked stupor and closing the distance between them. His arms were around her and his lips on her cheek before she knew what was happening. “I heard what happened. You’ve nothing to apologize for.” He told her, smoothing her hair against her back as he held her.

“I’ve missed you.” She told him, feeling as if a dam had burst somewhere inside of her. Suddenly, all the fear and sorrow she had kept at bay all these months broke loose and she began to weep in great heaving sobs.

“I’m so sorry, Molly.” He told her gently, the tears swelling in his eyes as he held her as her body shook with the violent sorrow that she had held at bay for months. His strong, stoic Molly. She burdened herself, not wanting to share her suffering with the people closest to her. The only time she didn’t feel the need to be strong was in Edge’s arms. He was strong enough for them both.

“It’s not your fault.” She murmured, drawing in a deep, broken breath. “But I’m so glad you’re home. I was so scared…” She started to speak, her hand stroking his stubbled cheek, but then her eyes were drawn across the room to her parents and she fell silent.

“Well, Edge. You’re welcome to stay here, if you wish.” Seamus said, stretching and looking to Mary.

“That’s right. We don’t give a damn about bloody traditions or appearances. We know your intentions for our Molly are good and that she loves you. That’s all that really matters.” Mary agreed, wishing the two of them a good night before leading Seamus to their bedroom.

“Molly… I feel like it’s been a lifetime.” Edge told her, holding her as tightly as he could without hurting her.

“I’ve been to hell and back, Edge.” She replied, leaning back to look into his unique green eyes. He wiped the tears from her cheeks gingerly and she managed a small smile. “And you’re the only reason I survived the trip. Knowing you were coming home to me.”

“You are my home, Molly. I’d be lost without you. Doomed to wander, unsettled, broken hearted.” Edge whispered, his forehead against hers, his breath hot and moist against her cheek. His lips found hers, just brushing as light as a whisper.

“Edge… I was so scared…” She started again, and this time there was no distraction, no interruption. He waited patiently for her, his eyes searching her face. “… You deserve better than to have to marry a woman who’s been …” her lips trembled here and fat tears began to spill from her dark eyes. Edge shook his head, but she placed a hand on his chest, silencing him. She needed to finish saying her peace.

“You don’t deserve to have to raise another man’s child. A child created in violence… it’s not the way your family should start. You deserve better. That is what I was scared of, that you would realize that. That is what I meant when I told you I was sorry.” She said, taking a deep breath and looking into his eyes nervously.

“You say I deserve better?” Edge asked, both of his hands sliding up to her cheeks, framing her face and keeping their eyes locked. “There is no such thing. There is nothing better for me than you.” He assured her, hugging her close when this made her start to shake from her sobs once more.

“And this child?” He added when her tears had subsided once more., his hand sliding down to rest on her firm, round belly. “This child is of your flesh and blood. That makes it my child. I will love it as I love its mother.”

“Thank you.” She told him softly, rising to stand on her toes and kissing him softly. The familiar way her skin tasted, the softness of her lips welcoming him home finally. No matter what happened, he knew his love would not be broken.

***************************************************
After several hours of deep discussion and heavy drinking at Dick Evans place, Bono and Carra did not particularly expect Edge to return that night. Even if he did, they knew Dick would have a place for him to stay. So, when Gavin volunteered his fathers barn as a place for Carra and Bono to stay for awhile, they accepted.

It wasn’t safe for them to stay with anyone that Bono was known to be close to, and it certainly wasn’t safe for his friends to be seen with him. This way they would be away from other people, somewhere the British soldiers were not likely to be watching for him.

“We can handle it from here, thanks.” Carra told Gavin at the door to the barn, wrapping an arm around the completely inebriated Bono who was standing only with his friends assistance. She didn’t want to give Gavin an excuse to come into the dark building with them. Especially if Bono passed out, then she would be essentially alone with the man. She thought she would rather wrestle a shark.

“Suit yerself.” Gavin replied, releasing his hold on Bono’s shoulders and barely containing a snicker when they stumbled and fell on the arses in the sheep shit. Carra steeled her shoulders and found a new center of balance for them, glaring at the man defiantly. He just continued to smirk at her undaunted, so she let out an indignant huff and led Bono into the barn.

They passed the sheep, finding an dodgy ladder made up of leftover pieces of wood hammered into the wall for footholds. This led up to the small loft where hay was stored, to help insulate the barn during the winter months, providing bedding for the animals. It wasn’t exactly a bed fit for a queen, but it would suit Carra just fine for the time being.

Ascending the ladder was a nearly impossible task for Bono in his drunken state. Carra was more then a little irritated by the fourth time he lost his footing and slipped back down the wall.

“Oh fer fucks sake!” She cursed, throwing her hands up in a gesture of futile irritation.

“I’m sorry, but the ladder keeps moving.” Bono told her, his blue eyes wide and serious, shimmering in the moonlight when he turned to look at her. She wanted to throttle him, to curse at him, or perhaps simply leave him down here to sleep with the rest of the smelly flock. The moment his eyes hit hers, though, and that roguish grin broke across his face, her anger vanished.

“You’re an awful bleedin’ drunk. You know that?” She laughed, and he laughed along with her, turning away from the ladder and resting a thick hand on her shoulder for support.

“I’ve been told I’m a very charming drunk, thankyouverymuch.” He slurred, his long black hair falling in his face and hiding his mystic blue eyes for a moment.

“That, too.” She murmured, instinctively reaching to brush the silky strand back. Her breath caught in her throat when his hand caught hers and held it to his cheek. He turned his face to kiss the palm of her hand, sending a series of shockwaves through her arm and making her heart skip a beat.

“Bono…” She said, her thoughts turning back to the heat of the mans kisses, that day in the cargo hold. He was charming, and talented, and Carra had to admit she had rarely known a temptation as powerful as the one he presented. “Let’s get you up this bloody thing and into bed.” She said, sliding her hand out of his grasp, away from his gentle lips.

“Are you trying to get me into bed?” Bono asked coyly, swaying unsteadily on his feet as she turned him back toward the ladder.

“Aye, that I am.” She replied playfully.

“I’m not used to women being so forward.” Bono told her as he grasped the higher rungs of the ladder and braced himself to try climbing it again. “I think I rather like it.” He added, glancing back over his shoulder at her with a devilish grin.

“Bono, would you just climb the fecking thing!” She told him, trying to keep any amusement at his flirtation out of her voice.

“I think you may need to give me a boost.” He told her, and Carra had to hide her face in her hands as she laughed out of sheer frustration. Finally she stood behind him, her hands at his waist and helped him ascend the ladder, giving him a push on the arse when he finally reached the loft. He tumbled onto the thin planks in a heap of laughter and muttered expletives and she climbed up to join him quickly.

She looked around the small loft with a sinking feeling in her stomach as she realized there was barely enough room for them both. Privacy was out of the question. Not that she needed a lot of privacy. After all, she slept in the general quarters with the other sailors on the aingeal all the time. This just seemed… different.

She quickly located the blankets Gavin had assured them would be there and tried her best not to wonder why Gavin had them hidden there to begin with. She laid them out onto a thick pile of straw and sat down on them, slipping out of her boots. Bono managed to get up onto his hands and knees and crawl over onto the blanket next to her. She gasped aloud as one of his surprisingly strong arms snaked around her waist and pulled her down beside him.

“Bono!” She objected, but his mouth was covering hers before she could even think anything further, let alone say it. There it was, just the way she remembered, that incredible heat of his. It radiated from him like a fireplace, like a flame she was both drawn to and afraid of. The warmth she craved but she was afraid of being burned.

His thick tongue lapped out between his own lips, teasing hers. It tasted like whiskey and felt like velvet, and she groaned against the pleasure, her lips parting and allowing him to enter without a thought. He pulled her closer, their chests pressed together now, his hand sliding down over her hip and hooking under her thigh, guiding her leg to wrap around his waist.

“Mmm…Bono…” Her conscious mind somehow managed to crawl back out from under the blanket of seduction he had covered it over with. “Mmm… no.. no, Bono.” She mumbled between soft, wet kisses that made her heartbeat crazily.

“Hmmm?” He mumbled as one meaty hand slid up to cup her breast as he leaned toward her for another kiss.

“No!” She finally found her voice, pushing out of his arms and sitting up. Bono rolled over onto his back and blinked up at her as if utterly confused. “Jaysus, Bono!” She sighed, running a hand through her tangled red hair. She couldn’t even look at him, gazing up at her with that look of confusion in his eyes. She hugged her knees to her chest and rested her forehead against them while she focused her thoughts.

Finally, when she knew what she needed to say to him, she lifted her tired head and looked down at him.

“You… son.of.a.bitch!” she exclaimed, utterly exasperated at the realization that he was already sleeping quite soundly.

*************************************************************
“And you know it's time to go
Through the sleet and driving snow
Across the fields of mourning to a light that's in the distance.

And you hunger for the time
Time to heal, 'desire' time
And your earth moves beneath your own dream landscape.

On borderland we run.
I'll be there, I'll be there tonight
A high-road, a high-road out from here...”


Carra stood outside the barn door in the frigid morning air, her breath leaving her body and freezing instantly into a cloud. She leaned back against the door, her head swimming as her skin broke out in an illogical sweat. She closed her eyes and tried to focus on the bite of the cold air on her cheeks, the mournful sound of Bono’s voice as he lay in the bed they had shared the night before, singing to himself. Or perhaps he was singing to the sheep, she thought with a faint smile.

Some of them were even singing along, their bleating ‘baa’s adding a strange, dissonant harmony to Bono’s melody. This, in turn, made her think of Edge’s beautiful soft voice and she wondered how he was. The news that Molly had been attacked had been like a knife to his chest. She had been able to see the pain clearly in his chiseled face. And he had not even been told of the fact that she was carrying the child of some nameless British soldier.

Suddenly her thoughts were interrupted as her stomach rebelled, her eyes opening as the wave of violent nausea hit, and she leaned over, hands on her knees and wretched. She hoped Bono could not hear her from his spot in the loft; prayed that he would keep singing without noticing the sickening sounds she tried her best to muffle.

She drew in several deep breaths, wiping her mouth weakly, leaning against the barn wall again. She would be damn glad when this part was over. Not that she knew just when that would be. She had not been around other women much in her lifetime, and never had she spent time with one who was pregnant. The doctor she had seen in London assured her the sickness was normal, and that it would pass.

She clung desperately to that promise. She had suspected what might be causing the changes in her body, but she had no idea what to expect in the coming months. The doctor had told her a bit about the process, suggesting that what she truly needed was not a doctor at all, but a midwife. After all, having a baby was a natural process, not an illness.

“Carra? Are you alright?” She heard Bono’s gentle voice ask from the doorway.

“Yes, yes… I think I’m just experiencing the after effects of your drinking binge for you.” She told him, trying to keep her tone light.

“You’re sweating!” He announced, as if she did not know that already. He placed the palm of his hand against her forehead and stared at her with great concern in his eyes. “You feel clammy, but not feverish.” He informed her. “Come on, let’s get you back inside. You need to rest.”

“Bono, I’m fine.” She told him, trying her best to hide the fact that her knees were going weak beneath her and her head ached terribly. It had been this way every morning for more than a month now.

“No, you’re not!” He complained, wrapping an arm around her and guiding her into the barn. The smell of the sheep hit her hard and she wrestled her way out of his arms, her stomach lurching. She stumbled out the door and wretched, falling to her hands and knees this time. She felt a gentle hand gather her hair and hold it back out of her face, and tears sprang to her eyes.

“Thank you.” She managed to whisper when he offered her a handful of clean snow to wipe her face with and to rinse her mouth.

“What are we going to do with you?” Bono asked, crouching next to her in the snow.

“I’ll be alright. It’ll pass before long.”

“Is this something that happens frequently?”

“Quite.” She replied, rubbing her eyes to hide the tears that threatened to spill.

“Well, you need to be somewhere more comfortable than a barn at least.” He told her. “I’ll gather our bags. I think I know just the place for you.” He winked at her as he sprang to his feet and hurried back into the barn. Carra sighed and rested against the wall, wondering at Bono’s concern for her. As if he didn’t have enough problems of his own, he was worrying over her. Of course, she realized, sometimes it was easier to deal with other peoples problems and ignore your own.

***************************************************************

Fiona woke in the softest, most lush bed she had ever slept in. She stretched and could not help but smile at the pleasant ache in her muscles, remembering the night before and turning over to reach for Adam. Her smile faded when she found his side of the bed empty, though. She stood, wrapping one of his robes around her shoulders and stepping timidly into the hallway of the impressive house.

“Adam?” She called, slowly shuffling down the hallway and peaking into any room with an open door. Finally coming to the sitting room near the front entrance, she looked in to see Adam seated on a beautiful velvet chaise lounge, his feet up, crossed at the ankles, stoically examining a newspaper. It would be a relatively normal scene, except for the fact that Adam was completely naked.

And quite comfortable with that, from the casual way he looked up from the paper to greet Fiona with a smile and a wink.

“Good morning.” He told her. “You must’ve been exhausted. I was starting to think you’d be abed well into the afternoon.”

Fiona could not help but laugh out loud at the strange antithesis of his conversational tone and his state of undress.

“How can you lounge around completely naked in a common room, in the bright light of day?” She asked, loving the mischievous gleam in his eye and the way he smirked at her, raising his eyebrows playfully.

“A man should not be forced to wear pants if it isn’t cold.” He told her, gracefully setting the newspaper aside and standing to approach her. She looked away shyly, despite the fact that she’d seen him naked several times now. She glanced back up to see what he was doing, thinking he looked very much like a jungle cat, lean and muscular and very, very dangerous. Her eyes widened as she realized she was his intended prey.

“What are you…” She asked, stepping back in retreat, trying not to giggle.

“I think you need to see things from my point of view.” He told her, reaching out and snatching the belt of his robe and pulling it loose. She let out a surprised squeak and clutched the loose robe closed.

“Adam!” She objected, her voice full of laughter. He took another step forward and Fiona darted out into the hallway, laughing madly as he chased her. She moved behind furniture, into the dining room and around the table, both of them soon out of breath from laughing and running. She made one final attempt at evasion, back out into the hallway and up the stairs.

In the heat of their game, they did not hear the sound of knocking on the front door. They did, however notice the cold draft when the door opened and Bono and Carra stepped inside.

“Hello, Adam?” They heard Bono’s voice calling as the door opened.

“Oh!” Carra gasped, turning her back quickly, though not quick enough to hide the smirk that split her face.

“I’m sorry.” Bono laughed. “We didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“Nonsense.” Adam told him with a wave of his hand. Fiona stood at the top of the stairs, her hand over her mouth in shock and bemusement as Adam gestured toward the hooks near the door. “Come in, come in. take off your cloaks… and anything else if you’d like.” He grinned, the new arrivals both shaking with laughter now as well.

“Adam!” Fiona called, her voice trembling with a mixture of amusement and embarrassment.

“Fiona hasn’t quite adopted all of my practices just yet.” Adam explained coolly, his smirk still firmly in place. It made the pair laugh even harder to know that he was, in fact, not the least bit embarrassed by the timing of their arrival.

“Adam!” Fiona sqealed again, a bit more desperately this time.

“Make yourselves comfortable.” Adam told them politely. “You have brought a bit of a chill in with you, so I think I’ll go appease my wife and get dressed for the day.”
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:32 PM   #2
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Edge and Molly

Carra pregnant! can't wait to see what happens with that!


and at the last part with Adam




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Old 11-22-2005, 06:50 AM   #3
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Carra is pregnant.

Great chapter!
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:37 PM   #4
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great chapter

so many surprises in this chapter
edge and molly are so cute
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:18 AM   #5
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Awesome chapter!

Thanks for a great update. Keep the chapters coming. You're a wonderful writer!
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Old 11-23-2005, 07:30 AM   #6
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Edge

and that last part with Adam was too funny
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Old 11-24-2005, 10:58 PM   #7
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Great Chapter!!!

Carra pregnant!!! wow!
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